New powers allowing the police watchdog to compel officers to attend interviews have come into force.
The measure was introduced as part of moves to beef up the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as it took on an investigation into the Hillsborough disaster, the biggest ever inquiry into the actions of police in the UK.
The IPCC has faced difficulties in the past with cases such as the shooting of Mark Duggan, where officers refused to attend face-to-face interviews. Mr Duggan was killed in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011 and his death was the trigger for a wave of riots and looting that spread across the country.
Last summer Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that there had been "trust issues" between officers and the watchdog, which prevented questioning.
One officer finally agreed to be interviewed by the IPCC in December, but it is understood that he refused to answer any questions. All the officers involved had already submitted statements to the IPCC.
Under the new powers, the watchdog will be able to require serving officers to attend witness interviews and to bring misconduct proceedings if they fail to attend.
This authority includes police officers, staff and special constables, as well as officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency, National Policing Improvement Agency, British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, some ports police and those serving in Scottish forces.
The IPCC already had the power to make officers come to interviews where there were criminal or misconduct allegations, and this has been extended to situations without those claims.
Thousands of names have been passed to the watchdog as part of its investigation into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
These include officers from South Yorkshire Police and around 20 other forces who were present when 96 Liverpool fans died during an FA Cup semi-final in 1989.