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 3: Governance and Accountability

Theme 3: Governance and Accountability

PIRC governance and accountability

As reported in June, proposals in connection with Recommendations 34 and 35 to re‑designate PIRC as a Commission, with one Commissioner, two Deputy Commissioners, a statutory Board and to be accountable to the Scottish Parliament, will be subject to public consultation, before any legislative amendments are considered. In the meantime PIRC continues to strengthen its leadership.

Scrutiny of Performance and Cross-agency Liaison

Recommendations under this theme are mainly non-legislative and work on implementation across a range of areas continues. Recommendations 29 and 79 are closely linked with regular meetings taking place between SPA, Police Scotland and PIRC, which provide an opportunity for feedback on a range of subjects including timeliness and content of reports to the SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee. PIRC continues to monitor achievement of the Key Performance Indicator set by the Commissioner to complete 80% of investigations within 3 months and Complaint Handling Reviews within 4 months of receipt, providing assurance that any delays are only in the most complex cases and are reported to the SPA.

Since the last report, Police Scotland has progressed development of reporting to identify 5 year trends to address Recommendation 4. Reports to the SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee for the period April to June 2021 included 5 year trend analysis, which will be further developed as the relevant data is available. The expectation is that the next quarterly report will ensure completion of this recommendation. The Chief Constable also aims to publish annual complaints performance at the end of the financial year 2021/22 which will see recommendation 78 finalised at that point.

Local Scrutiny Committees

We reported in June that first steps had been made to progress Recommendation 33. Since then, Police Scotland's redesign of the Local Commanders' Report has now been implemented and is reflective of the SPA Complaint and Conduct Committee quarterly report. Professional Standards Department has also undertaken a survey of Local Commanders and received confirmation that the information they are providing, which includes evidence, adequately assists local committees to scrutinise police, and as such this recommendation is now proposed as complete.

Further updates

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

Theme 3: Governance and Accountability

Progress Overview for the period 1 May to 30 September 2021

Recommendations

Lead

Current Position

4

Police Scotland performance report to identify 5 year trends.

Police Scotland

In progress

The Quarter 1 Report for 2021 submitted to the SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee included 5 year trend analysis which will be developed incrementally as the relevant data is available. It is anticipated that reports to the end of this financial year will ensure finalisation of this recommendation.

29

SPA to hold Police Scotland to account for any delays and raise any concerns over PIRC delays with the Commissioner

SPA

In progress

Engagement is ongoing with Police Scotland on proposed content of future reports, following initial consultation with SPA Complaints & Conduct Committee Members, SPA officials and PIRC. The Commissioner has also agreed a key performance indicator (KPI) in relation to this recommendation which is reviewed monthly and reported publicly. By ensuring the KPI is met, PIRC is able to provide assurances that delays are only in the most complex and protracted cases and where necessary highlighted to the SPA. This links to recommendation 79.

33

Local scrutiny committees to consider what further complaints information or discussion would assist their scrutiny of the police

Local Scrutiny Committees & Police Scotland

Complete

The Professional Standards Department monthly Divisional Commanders' Report has been redesigned to be more reflective of the SPA Complaint & Conduct Committee quarterly report. All Local Commanders have provided confirmation that the redesigned report meets the needs of their local scrutiny committees at divisional level.

34

PIRC to be re-designated as a Commission, with one Commissioner, two Deputy Commissioners and a statutory Board

Scottish Government

In progress

Initial discussions with operational partners and staff associations have taken place on this recommendation ahead of a full public consultation in 2022. Discussions are also underway with the UK Government to better understand the systems and arrangements in place in England and Wales to help consider this recommendation. Similarly, discussions with the Irish Government are planned to better understand the systems and arrangements in place in Ireland. In the meantime, PIRC has taken steps to strengthen its leadership.

35

PIRC to be accountable to Parliament for non-criminal matters

Scottish Government

In progress

Initial discussions with operational partners and staff associations have taken place on this recommendation ahead of a full public consultation in 2022. PIRC is not supportive of this recommendation. Discussions are also underway with the UK Government to better understand the systems and arrangements in place in England and Wales to help consider this recommendation. Similarly, discussions with the Irish Government are planned to better understand the systems and arrangements in place in Ireland.

59

SPA to confirm in its annual report whether or not the Chief Constable has suitable complaint handling arrangements in place.

SPA

In progress

SPA plans to include a statement in next year's Annual Report Accounts (2021/22) in respect of the suitability of Police Scotland's complaints handling arrangements.

78

Chief Constable to publish annually Police Scotland's performance in handling complaints against timescales in statutory guidance

Police Scotland

In progress

Annual reporting on Police Scotland's complaints handling performance will be available at the end of financial year 2021/22.

79

SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee to scrutinise Police Scotland's performance in dealing with complaints and hold to account.

SPA

In progress

Engagement continues with Police Scotland on proposed content of future reports, following initial consultation with SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee Members, SPA officials and PIRC to improve effectiveness. This links to recommendation 29.

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 3: Governance and Accountability cont

Recommendations

Lead

45

PIRC to report performance against targets in the Annual Report

PIRC

PR23

PIRC to consider building into structure legal support and advice capacity

PIRC

PR26

Establishment of Senior cross agency working group.

All partners


Contact

Email: police_division_hub_mailbox@gov.scot