Police officers and staff across Scotland do a vital job keeping our communities safe, often in challenging circumstances. Police Scotland's approach to the delivery of COP26 in Glasgow, alongside its ongoing role in relation to the Covid pandemic response, are recent examples of this in action.
We are committed to supporting this crucial service, and to ensuring Scotland's citizens and communities have trust and confidence in the policing system and the structures that underpin it.
The vast majority of our police officers and police staff work tirelessly to protect our communities. However we have to recognise that things do, at times, go wrong. It is in everyone's interests – from police officers and staff to the general public – that we have robust, clear and transparent mechanisms in place for investigating complaints or other issues of concern.
That is why, in 2018, we commissioned Dame Elish Angiolini to review police complaints handling, investigations and misconduct in Scotland. Dame Elish's review was wide reaching and forensic in its analysis. Her recommendations provide a strong platform on which to drive meaningful improvement, in collaboration with partners across the policing sector here in Scotland.
When accepting the majority of Dame Elish's recommendations, the Scottish Government and Crown Office made clear its commitment to work with partners to deliver improvements. A total of 34 of Dame Elish's recommendations have, at the time of writing, already been implemented, as outlined in our Thematic Progress Reports. Others require legislative change and we are now looking for your views, via this consultation, to finalise our policies surrounding police complaints and scrutiny in line with this Government's commitment to ensuring all our public services are accountable, transparent and trusted.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank partners for their contributions to-date including preparing for this consultation. I trust that many will want to contribute their thoughts and opinions to the questions posed in this consultation, and I encourage all with an interest to do so. I look forward to considering the full range of opinions received and thank you in advance for your views.
Keith Brown MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans
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