Complaints, investigations and misconduct in policing: implementation progress report

Fifth thematic progress report following publication of the independent review of complaints, investigations and misconduct in policing in Scotland, setting out implementation progress with details of the status and lead responsibility for each recommendation.

Annex A

Status of All Non-legislative Recommendations

Theme 1: Rights and Ethics
Recommendations Lead Status
32 Ethical Issues – roles of Committees SPA In progress
69 Amendment to Letter of Rights to clarify general rights and right to complain for detainees in custody Scottish Government Completed 18.5.23
76 Consideration of a scheme to pay reasonable travel and subsistence expenses and compensation for loss of earnings for next of kin involved in FAIs Scottish Government In Progress*
3 Prevention of post incident conferral other than for pressing operational reasons Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
21 Police Scotland to review and audit whistleblowing arrangements and data Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
47 COPFS to refer all potential Article 3 and Article 5 breaches where a crime may have been committed to PIRC rather than Police Scotland COPFS Completed 16.12.21
70 Independent Custody Visitors to check that third parties have been notified of detention SPA Completed 24.6.21
73 PIRC to act speedily in investigations of deaths in custody PIRC Completed 24.6.21
77 Restricted duties or transfers during investigation to take account of family circumstances and support Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
PR1 Police Scotland to refer all allegations of excessive force to COPFS COPFS & Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
Theme 2: Jurisdiction and Powers
43 Hold in mind a possible PONI model Scottish Government Keep Under Review
Theme 3: Governance and Accountability
29 SPA to hold Police Scotland to account for any delays and raise any concerns over PIRC delays with the Commissioner SPA In progress
79 SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee to scrutinise Police Scotland's performance in dealing with complaints and hold to account SPA In progress
4 Police Scotland performance report to identify 5 year trends Police Scotland. Completed 23.6.22
33 Local scrutiny committees to consider what further complaints information or discussion would assist their scrutiny of the police Local Scrutiny Committees & Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
45 PIRC to report performance against targets in the Annual Report PIRC Completed 24.6.21
59 SPA to confirm in its annual report whether or not the Chief Constable has suitable complaint handling arrangements in place Police Scotland. Completed 13.12.22
78 Chief Constable to publish annually Police Scotland's performance in handling complaints against timescales in statutory guidance Police Scotland. Completed 13.12.22
PR23 PIRC to consider building into structure legal support and advice capacity PIRC Completed 24.6.21
PR26 Establishment of Senior cross agency working group All partners Completed 24.6.21
Theme 4: Transparency and Accessibility
30 Greater public sharing of SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee work SPA Completed 16.12.21
31 SPA Complaints and Conduct Committee work to feature in SPA Annual Report and Accounts SPA Completed 16.12.21
36 Publicising recourse beyond PIRC to Scottish Public Services Ombudsman PIRC Completed 24.6.21
46 Publicising avenue to take criminal allegations to COPFS directly COPFS Completed 23.6.22
48 Police Scotland to publicise right to complain Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
49 Know your Rights section of the Police Scotland website to be improved Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
PR6 Police Scotland to adjust "Early intervention" practice to ensure officers are aware of a complaint against them Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
PR8 Police Scotland to simplify navigating complaints process for members of the public Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
Theme 5: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
5 Police Scotland and SPA to consider expanding collection and publication of diversity data Police Scotland & SPA In progress
18 Independent review of equality matters within Police Scotland Police Scotland In progress
19 Police Scotland should develop its diversity data collection and analysis to inform a proper understanding of issues related to discrimination Police Scotland In progress
60 Police Scotland to analyse complaints data to gain a better understanding of different groups and communities' experience of the police Police Scotland In progress

Police Scotland to use staff surveys, meetings and focus groups to understand the experience and impacts of discrimination, prejudice and unconscious bias on all minority groups in the workforce

Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
16 More diverse panels for disciplinary hearings Police Scotland Completed 13.12.22
17 Appropriate support for anyone who is subject to internal or external discrimination Police Scotland Completed 13.12.22
44 PIRC should ensure that discrimination issues are considered as an integral part of their work PIRC Completed 13.12.22
50 Third‑party reporting centres for hate crime, including those representing minority groups, to offer support to complainers Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
66 All Police Scotland Officers and staff to receive training on unconscious bias, equality legislation and diversity with refresher courses Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
PR12 Police Scotland to reflect on the culture of the new service, address any long-standing issues and consider how everyone in the organisation can help to change that culture for the better Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
Theme 6: Conduct and Standards
26 PIRC to collaborate with SPA on preliminary assessment process (until legislative change is in place) SPA/PIRC Completed 16.12.21
PR16 Complaints against senior officers should be prioritised and dealt with as speedily as possible SPA/PIRC Completed 16.12.21
PR18 SPA to consider alternative options for senior officers other than suspension SPA Completed 16.12.21
Theme 7: Training and HR
11 Police Scotland to consider front line sergeant workload and supervisory ratio of sergeants to constables Police Scotland In progress
6 All officers and support staff in Police Scotland's Professional Standards Department (PSD) to receive comprehensive induction training and regular refresher development Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
14 Police Scotland Executive team should consider in depth and review the criteria and competencies that it uses to assess police officers' readiness for promotion Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
62 Police Scotland to appoint a PSD training officer to liaise with the SPSO, the PIRC and the SPA on joint training, best practice Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
63 PIRC staff to work shadow police officers at peak times to understand context PIRC Completed 13.12.22
64 PIRC in house training on law of evidence PIRC Completed 16.12.21
65 PIRC and Police Scotland to develop training and development opportunities to embed learning from thematic analysis of complaints PIRC/Police Scotland Completed 23.6.21
67 Police Scotland to provide training on engaging with individuals displaying mental ill-health symptoms or related behaviours Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
PR2 Police Scotland to review service‑wide capability of line managers, including the adequacy of training and support mechanisms Police Scotland Complete 24.6.21
PR3 Police Scotland to consider for employing more non‑police officer support staff in PSD. This is an option that Police Scotland may wish to ask HMICS to review Police Scotland Completed 13.12.22
PR4 Police Scotland to ensure that grievance matters are not artificially elevated and dealt with as conduct matters Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
PR9 Police Scotland to raise awareness of internal systems for mediation and grievance Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
PR10 Police Scotland to provide officers in frontline resolution with training in mediation and customer handling Police Scotland Completed 24.6.21
PR17 Training for complaints and conduct officers in SPA to be consolidated to ensure up‑to‑date knowledge of complaint handling best practice SPA Completed 13.12.22
PR24 Following retirement of former police officers PIRC policy should be to replace them with non-police officers PIRC Completed 13.12.22
Theme 8: Efficiency and Effectiveness
68 Strategic Oversight Group or National Complaint Handling Development Group to engage with SPSO Scottish Government Completed 18.5.23
72 NHS accident and emergency facilities designed to be able to deal safely with mental health care and acute crises Scottish Government In progress*
9 All frontline resolution should be carried out by Professional Standards Department Police Scotland Completed 16.12.21
80 Time limit for submission of complaints by the public should be clear in the PIRC's statutory guidance and publicised on the relevant websites PIRC Completed 24.6.21
PR11 Police Scotland to accelerate plans to expand use of Body Worn Video Police Scotland Completed 23.6.22
PR20 PIRC to consider the case for creating regional presence to enhance its capacity to respond immediately PIRC Completed 24.6.21
PR25 Independent management review to ensure that the PIRC has appropriate leadership, skills and culture to carry out its functions PIRC Completed 24.6.21
Theme 9: Audit and Review
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
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
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 Keep Under Review
PR27 All audit arrangements, including regular dip‑sampling, to be prioritised and co‑ordinated to improve standards and service to the public All partners Completed 18.5.23
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 Completed 24.6.21
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 Completed 13.12.22
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 Completed 13.12.22
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 Completed 24.6.21

In progress* - Recommendations 72 and 76 will continue to be progressed by another policy area within Scottish Government and will have oversight from different governance structures going forward.



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