Policing - complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues: independent review - preliminary report

Dame Elish Angiolini's independent review addresses complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues in relation to policing in Scotland, in the wake of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.


304. In recent months additional training and programmes have been implemented and these are to be welcomed, especially the training that has been undertaken across or between organisations. It is vital that people have a better knowledge of others' roles, and improved communication along with joint training will assist in this.

305. There are instances where audits of organisations have previously identified gaps in their training needs. For example, PIRC's 2017 audit of the Scottish Police Authority concluded that no staff had undertaken formal complaint handling training since taking up post, and that there was no formal or structured annual training, or continuing professional development programme made available to staff. PIRC therefore recommended more training for staff in the SPA's Complaints and Conduct Team and this has been progressed.

306. In the context of misconduct, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) expressed the view in their evidence that those in charge of conduct procedures, especially hearings, lacked specific training, and stressed that it is important that those charged with independent oversight are properly trained and resourced.

307. The 2015 Review of PIRC Procedures in relation to Complaint Handling Reviews of PIRC led by Robert Gordon recommended that the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) should share their training materials and courses where appropriate, and that a quality assurance check of decisions issued by review officers could offer feedback to identify any training needs. The PIRC should also consider the operational and career development merits of interchange between PIRC staff and SPSO staff.

308. The identification of relevant training for officers, investigators, hearing or chairs of proceedings and support staff across all organisations will be considered in the final report.



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