Complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues in relation to policing - final report: joint Scottish Government and Crown Office response

Joint response to Dame Elish Angiolini from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Lord Advocate following publication of the final report of her independent review of complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues in relation to policing In Scotland.

Cover letter

Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Humza Yousaf MSP

Lord Advocate
James Wolffe QC

T: 0300 244 4000

Dame Elish Angiolini

05 February 2021

Dear Elish

Response From The Scottish Government And Crown Office To The Independent Review Of Complaints Handling, Investigations And Misconduct Issues In Relation To Policing In Scotland

We would like to record our thanks to you for leading the independent review of complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues in relation to policing in Scotland and delivering two comprehensive and incisive reports. We attach the joint response of the Scottish Government and Crown Office to your recommendations. As you will note from our response, we intend to accept the majority of your recommendations.

Both reports are incredibly wide-ranging, forensic in their analysis, with a broad suite of recommendations that will provide a strong platform from which to drive meaningful improvement. We are grateful that you have used this opportunity to be clear and candid about what is good and about what needs further work. The report rightly recognises the need for bold reform of the complaints, investigations and misconduct frameworks and we will be working closely with partners to deliver that.

With such substantial and significant reports, it will of course take some time to work through the recommendations with partners and in consultation with stakeholders, including staff associations. Some will need further discussion and engagement before an agreed position can be established; however, we have already made good progress in agreeing governance and reporting structures and will work in collaboration on progressing next steps.

Some of the recommendations will require legislative change and it is our intention to take forward as many of these in a single Bill with associated secondary legislation. This will not be a quick process due to the need for consultation but this does not detract from the overall ambition and commitment, shared with partners, to deliver improvement.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude to you and your team for producing such significant and comprehensive reports and delivering our commission as set out in the Review's Terms of Reference. As we move forward with partners to progress implementation, we are confident that the resulting improvements will help to ensure systems and frameworks are fairer, more transparent, accountable and proportionate, which will ultimately help to strengthen public confidence in policing in Scotland.

We are copying this response to the Conveners of the Justice Committee and the Justice Subcommittee on Policing.

Humza Yousaf
Cabinet Secretary for Justice

RT HON James Wolffe QC
Lord Advocate



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