§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will announce the Government's proposals for a new system for dealing with complaints against the police. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
I am publishing this afternoon a framework of a new system to handle complaints made against police officers. There are some areas which require further work and we are inviting views on these so that they can be finalised.
It was last May that I published the Government's consultation document which was based on reports of two separate studies. The first study was commissioned from the management consultants KPMG in order to take forward recommendations made by the Home Affairs Select Committee in its report on the police disciplinary and complaints procedures and by Sir William Macpherson's Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The second study was by the human rights organisation Liberty.
The outcome of the consultation is that the Government propose to set up a new body to handle complaints; it will be called the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
I have previously indicated my sympathy for the principle of an independent system for investigating complaints against the police and I am pleased to announce that a key element of the new system will be the independent investigations of the more serious complaints. Two other key elements of the new system will be easier accessibility to the system for complainants and more openness in dealing with complainants.
I am very grateful to all those who took part in the consultation. In particular, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), which has called repeatedly for reforms so that it could increase its effectiveness and independence. The PCA's response pointed the way towards independent investigations, easier accessibility and more openness.
I have arranged for copies of the framework document to be placed in the Library.