Publication - Progress report

Complaints, investigations and misconduct in policing: implementation of recommendations - thematic progress report - December 2021

Second thematic progress report following publication of Dame Eish Angiolini’s final report setting out implementation progress with details of the status and lead responsibility for each recommendation.

Complaints, investigations and misconduct in policing: implementation of recommendations - thematic progress report - December 2021
Theme 9: Audit and Review

Theme 9: Audit and Review

The majority of the recommendations under this theme are non-legislative and are being taken forward by partners to implement within their own organisations.

Crown Office audit functions

The annual audit exercise by the Criminal Allegations Against Police Division (CAAP‑D) of COPFS and Police Scotland took place in August 2021 and saw all excessive force categorisations by the Professional Standards Division (PSD) of Police Scotland reviewed by CAAP-D. PSD were found to have categorised correctly all of the excessive force cases reviewed during the course of the exercise. The agreement of this exercise completed Recommendation 2 at the time of the previous thematic report.

PIRC audit functions

Meetings have taken place between the SPA and PIRC in order to finalise the audit methodology for the annual audit of triage within the Professional Standards Division (PSD) in Police Scotland of public complaints against police. This was proposed in Recommendation 42, and will be carried out collaboratively between PIRC and the SPA and for which draft terms of reference have been set. This will be followed by further engagement between the SPA and Police Scotland, with a report to be considered at the SPA's November 2021 Complaints and Conduct Committee. The intention is for the audit to be completed during the year 2021/22.

A further audit of the six-stage complaint handling process or audit of frontline resolution is to be scoped and progressed to support the implementation of Recommendation 7 following this audit of triage in PSD, and once the centralised model of Complaint Handling is embedded in Police Scotland.

Police Scotland audit functions

In order to meet Recommendation 61 – that Police Scotland and the PIRC should consider drawing on the expertise of Audit Scotland and SPSO in re-designing the audit arrangements for police complaints – regular meetings are now taking place between PIRC and Audit Scotland. Audit Scotland and SPSO are assisting PIRC with methodology guidance on the police complaints audit arrangements. As part of the ongoing work around audit functions, a self-assessment process has also been established within the Professional Standards Department in Police Scotland.

Review of whole-systems approach to mental health

HMICS continues to consider the scope and parameters of the review of efficiency and effectiveness of the whole-system approach to mental health proposed by Recommendation 71. The scoping exercise will include discussion with stakeholders and work with other scrutiny bodies that have experience in the inspection of health and mental health services. It is expected that work on the initial baseline information on healthcare in custody for the review will be progressed in early 2022. Further scoping work will then be taken forward around the discharge of this recommendation.

Consideration of the findings and recommendations of the 2017 Deaths in Custody review

Work is ongoing to consider, as per Recommendation 75, the findings and recommendations in Dame Elish Angiolini's 2017 review into Deaths and Serious Incidents in Custody in England and Wales. As this develops, the Scottish Government will consider whether there are particular recommendations that should be considered as part of the full public consultation in 2022.

Further updates

Details on progress against other recommendations under this theme are set out in the table below:

Theme 9: Audit and Review

Progress Overview for the period 1 May to 30 September 2021

Recommendations

Lead

Current Position

7

Next follow‑up audit of six‑stage complaint handling process or audit of frontline resolution to be carried out by PIRC

PIRC

In progress

As Police Scotland move to a centralised model of Complaint Handling, PIRC will wait for the model to be embedded before auditing the six-stage complaint handling process or front line resolution (FLR). PIRC met with Audit Scotland to discuss best practise in methodology and had a presentation from HMICS on their methodology. This audit will be scoped and progressed following the audit which is referred to in Recommendation 42.

42

PIRC to conduct annual audit of triage within PSD of public complaints against the police to matters are properly identified and routed, and to provide assurance that Article 3 and Article 5 cases are correctly identified and reported to COPFS.

PIRC

In progress

PIRC has recently recruited additional staff to assist with its Audit function. Planning to set the scope and methodology for such audits is also underway and will involve discussion with the NCHDG (National Complaint Handling Development Group) and COPFS. A draft ToR has been compiled and good progress is being made towards formal proposals being considered by SPA and PIRC. It is anticipated that a report will be considered at November 2021 Complaints & Conduct Committee with the intention for audit to be completed during 2021/22.

61

Police Scotland and the PIRC to consider drawing on expertise of Audit Scotland and SPSO in re‑designing the audit arrangements for police complaints.

Police Scotland

In progress

A self-assessment process has been established within Police Scotland's Professional Standards department. PIRC has also had meetings with Audit Scotland and SPSO who will assist PIRC with methodology guidance. Audit Scotland has agreed to provide an input to Review staff and regular meetings are now scheduled.

71

HMICS, and health inspection or audit body, to conduct a Review of efficiency and effectiveness of the whole‑system approach to mental health.

HMICS

In progress

HMICS continues to consider the scope and parameters of this review. This will include discussion with stakeholders and working with other scrutiny bodies with experience in the inspection of health and mental health services and a meeting is being arranged with Mental Welfare Commission to discuss the scope of such a review. Initial baseline information of healthcare in custody is being progressed early 2022.

75

Scottish Government to consider which findings and recommendations made in the Deaths in Custody review points from 2017 could and should be mirrored by public bodies in Scotland

Scottish Government

In progress

Work is ongoing to consider the findings and recommendations in the 2017 review into Deaths in Custody in England and Wales. As this develops, we will consider whether there are particular recommendations which should be considered as part of the full public consultation in 2022.

PR27

All audit arrangements, including regular dip‑sampling, to be prioritised and co‑ordinated to improve standards and service to the public

All partners

In progress

This links to work undertaken for recommendation 42.

The National Complaint Handling Development Group continues to progress arrangements for an annual multi‑agency audit of Police Scotland's complaint handling involving the SPA, Police Scotland and the PIRC.

Police Scotland has also developed an internal Quality Assurance process and methodology which are now in place. It is anticipated that the first audit will be completed during 2021/22.

The following is a list of recommendations within this theme which were signed off by the Ministerial Group as completed and featured in the Thematic Progress Report dated 24 June 2021:

Theme 9: Audit and Review

Recommendations

Lead

2

Criminal Allegations Against Police Division (CAAP‑D) of COPFS to regularly repeat review of all the 'assault' and 'excessive force' categorised complaints received by Police Scotland in the month of March 2020.

COPFS

PR5

Frontline resolution of complaints to be subject to close and regular monitoring through regular, internal and external audits, and monitoring of decision‑making.

Police Scotland


Contact

Email: police_division_hub_mailbox@gov.scot