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HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland: Annual Report (2007/08)

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Chapter four: HMICS in 2008-09

As we enter the second year of our new inspection regime, we are conscious of the impact of change on the service as a whole. We remain committed to ensuring that the public receives the highest standards of service and the best possible value. Therefore we will continue to implement our new arrangements, developing and refining these where necessary to achieve an optimum balance between the inevitable demands imposed by any form of scrutiny and the benefits that accrue from thorough exploration, reflection and re-focusing of effort. In response to some initial feedback from our stakeholders we intend to make some adjustments to our work plan and to refine some of our methods. This will ensure that we can continue our inspection activity with the minimum of disruption, while maintaining the purpose and integrity of our statutory responsibility. However, we will conduct additional inspection activity as necessary or where directed to do so by Scottish Ministers.

Recommendations and the results of self-assessment

In addition to the as yet unresolved recommendations of previous reports, our recent inspection activity has generated a number of new recommendations. Our revised process requires forces and services to consider how they might best respond to these and frame improvement plans accordingly.

With the support of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice we now also require that police forces and services inform their respective boards/authorities of our recommendations, and that the latter in turn approve the service improvement plans submitted to them. The same procedure applies to the self-assessment process. With the first round of self-assessment activity due to take place during the summer of 2008, we would expect to receive all completed reports and action plans before the end of the year. This will allow us to conduct a validation exercise, identifying service-wide issues for further action and examples of good practice that we will then promulgate. I will be able to report more fully on the impact of this in my next annual report, although I acknowledge that it may take time for self-assessment to become fully established and embedded.

Future thematic inspection activity

During 2008 we will undertake a further series of thematic inspections. A number of these will be carried out jointly with other inspection agencies or scrutiny bodies.

Further information about our current planned activity is outlined in table 1.

Table 1 - HMICS work plan: 1 April 2008 - 31 March 2009

The following table outlines our activity during the coming year. It has been updated to reflect the state of activity at the time of writing.

Our detailed work plan will further develop as the year progresses and the most current version will be available on our website at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/Police/15403/Prospectus

Thematic Inspections

Subject

Custody facilities

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

Report published 8 April 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/03/28152100/0

Subject

Investigation of wildlife crime

Suggested by

Scottish Ministers

Timescale

Report published 16 April 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/04/03143616/0

Subject

Productivity of police officers

Suggested by

Chief Constable of Tayside Police, and supported by HMICS

Timescale

Report published 1 May 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/04/29142805/0

Subject

Investigation of serious fraud

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

Report published 13 May 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/05/09105454/0

Subject

Quality of service and feedback to users of police services in Scotland

Suggested by

HMICS

Timescale

Report published 30 May 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/05/29140329/0

Subject

Care of arrested/detained juveniles

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

Report published 26 June 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/06/24085717/0

Subject

Police response to domestic abuse

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS, SPF

Timescale

Report published 27 August 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/08/21125841/0

Subject

Medical services for people in police custody

Suggested by

ACPOS, supported by HMICS and the Scottish Government

Timescale

Report published 16 October 2008, available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/10/13112955/0

Subject

Police use of firearms

Suggested by

ACPOS, and supported by HMICS

Timescale

To report winter 2008

Subject

Police impact on road safety

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

To report winter 2008-09

Subject

Strategic priority setting in Scottish forces: consulting the public

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported ACPOS

Timescale

To report winter 2008-09

Subject

High-risk offenders: arrangements before and after release from custodial sentence and management in the community

Suggested by

HMICS, SWIA, HMIP and the Scottish Government

Timescale

To report spring 2009

Subject

Asset recovery

Suggested by

Director General, SCDEA, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

To report spring 2009

Subject

Attendance management

Suggested by

HMICS, and supported by ACPOS

Timescale

To report spring 2009