Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/29/so15_complaints/

Met terror squad beats all complaints

167 filed, zero upheld

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Law, 29th April 2010 13:02 GMT

No public complaints against the Metropolitan Police's elite counter-terrorism squad have been upheld since the unit was formed three and a half years ago, new figures reveal.

Data on complaints against the Counter Terrorism Command, SO15, were released to The Register under the Freedom of Information Act.

Since the beginning of 2007, 167 public allegations of misconduct have been made against SO15 officers, including perjury, corruption, assault and sexual assault. All were written off, according to the Met's own records.

In each of the last three full years, internal investigators found that more than half of complaints against SO15 were "unsubstantiated". Others were subject to "immediate informal resolution", "local resolution" or "dispensation", where the force decided no action should be taken, sometimes with the agreement of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Six complaints have been filed this year, and a total of 14 investigations are ongoing.

SO15 was founded in October 2006 by combining Special Branch and SO13, which both had counter-terrorism responsibilities. It has more than 1,500 police officers and staff and acts as the national coordinator of counter-terrorism operations. SO15 also has very close links with the intelligence services.

As well as normal counter-terror work, the unit takes on many of the Met's highest-profile investigations, including into the radiation poisoning of Alex Litvinenko and into Home Office leaks to Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green.

Across 19 categories, most complaints in the last three years were recorded by the Met as relating to "other neglect or failure in duty". That was followed by "incivility, impoliteness and intolerance" and assault. There have been 17 complaints of unlawful arrest and 14 of discrimination.

Members of the public have made four claims of corrupt practices against SO15 and two of improper disclosure of information.

The only allegations of perjury were made in 2007, when eight complaints were filed. For all categories the Met did not say whether each complaint related to a separate officer.

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