Any data collected is anonymised. 119. Contact the police in Scotland by calling 999 to report emergencies or by calling 101 for non-emergencies. 111. The four superintendents for Misconduct, Support and Partnerships, Investigations West and Investigations North and East report to the Chief Superintendent Head of PSD. Police Scotland's chief constable Iain Livingstone condemned racism and discrimination and committed to improving public confidence in the force. It may be because they wish to protect their privacy, it may be that they fear some form or reprisal or it may be because their complaint is spurious or malicious. 140. In particular the online complaints form on the Police Scotland website should be made more prominent. It is the second‑largest police service in the UK, comprising 13 local policing divisions, each headed by a local police commander at Chief Superintendent rank who is charged with ensuring that local policing in each area is responsive, accountable and tailored to meet local needs. Aamer Anwar, solicitor for the family of Mr Bayoh, said the review was a "devastating and damning indictment of a police complaint system not fit for purpose in a modern and democratic Scotland". A former senior police officer who was cleared of assaulting a prisoner has labelled Police Scotland’s complaint system “broken.”. What happens to your body in extreme heat? 135. Hate crimes were up from mid-May, and police said a "significant number" of these related to neighbour disputes "which likely result from heightened tensions stemming from the pandemic situation". Where the CARU identifies potential criminality from the information provided, it will be passed to the PSD Investigations team to investigate the allegations which may subsequently be notified to COPFS. You should not use this form to report a … The Review heard evidence that these processes and practice lack flexibility and that once a complaint starts down a particular route, it is seldom reconsidered when it becomes clear that it should be re‑routed down a more appropriate and proportionate avenue. Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said he would carefully consider the report's recommendations. Such values motivate them to become police officers or support staff in the first place. This has been compounded by the reduction in the number of sergeant posts, changes to police pensions and a higher likely retirement age. Recommendation: To encourage appropriate use of mediation and grievance procedures Police Scotland should raise awareness and understanding amongst all members of the service of their own internal systems and which matters belong where in order to ensure a proportionate response. A major review of the handling of police complaints and investigations in Scotland yesterday called for urgent action on discrimination within … The Review has begun to consider whether the current position is sufficiently clear to police officers, and to the public who have a legitimate expectation that police officers will give every assistance after a serious incident. Where such an incident is being investigated by the PIRC, the investigators should also have a power, where it is necessary and proportionate, to compel police officers to attend within a reasonable timescale for interview. The European Court of Human Rights has developed five principles[26] for the effective investigation of complaints against the police that engage Article 2 or 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights including 'Independence' meaning that there should not be institutional or hierarchical connections between the investigators and the officer complained against and there should be practical independence. Police Scotland Headquarters PO Box 21184 Alloa FK10 9DE. 130. "But I'm not satisfied with having just a good system or a satisfactory system, I want the best system of complaints handing and Dame Elish's report will help us to get there.". In order to deal effectively with malicious complaints all the receiving organisations should have a policy that ensures consistency in handling, and helps to mitigate potential reputational damage from false allegations. This is an option that Police Scotland may wish to ask HMICS to review. You can have a friend or representative, (but not a lawyer) at the meeting. Officers who are subject to complaint can find this an extremely stressful experience and this can have a significant impact on their career and wellbeing especially if they are placed on restricted duties until the investigation is complete. The issue of how they are supported in that role and their welfare needs is one that will form an important part of the next phase of evidence‑gathering. ★★★★â˜, .css-1snjdh1-IconContainer{display:none;height:0.875em;width:0.875em;vertical-align:-0.0625em;margin-right:0.25em;}How Joe Biden's ancestral Irish home is celebrating. In certain incidents, different and sometimes competing Human Rights obligations of the state may be engaged. ... mygov.scot is the place for people in Scotland to access public services that are easy to find and simple to use. The Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland (PCCS) was the executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government responsible for overseeing the system for handling complaints made by members of the public against the police force of Scotland. It operated between 1 … (In recent years there have been two such cases arising out of complaints against the police where proceedings were taken by COPFS for wasting police time.) EU vaccine woes mount as new delays emerge, Dutch curfew to begin as Europe tightens rules, One year on from the world's first lockdown in Wuhan, Wuhan marks its anniversary with triumph and denial, Covid hand-outs: How other countries pay if you are sick, Your guide to avoiding lockdown back and shoulder pain, From cult hit to lockdown sensation: Call My Agent! © 2021 BBC. Complaints about a police chief have been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after internal emails to the Home Office showed him … You may be asked to meet with an investigating officer. Although a line manager might want to observe the officer over a period prior to intervention, there can seldom be any justification for delaying feedback for as long as 12 months. This is an option that Police Scotland may wish to ask HMICS to review. In an interim report published last year she said .css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:700;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}complaints against senior officers in Scotland should be dealt with more speedily, following criticism of the way allegations against former Chief Constable Phil Gormley were handled. She proposed allowing all complaints by members of the public to be made to an independent body such as the PIRC; and she reiterated an earlier proposal that the minimum standard should be that within 48 hours of any allegation of criminality being made, an initial report should be submitted by the police to COPFS. This is a good opportunity 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. There is information on what to include in a complaint and a link to the online complaints form on the Police Scotland website. 136. They state: 'Area Procurators Fiscal have a duty to investigate all complaints and allegations which are made against police officers where it is alleged that a crime may have been committed by a police officer or officers in the course of their duty' ", "Regulation 9(1) of the Police Service of Scotland (Conduct) Regulations 2014, provides: 'If the Deputy Chief Constable considers that it can reasonably be inferred that a constable may have committed a criminal offence, the Deputy Chief Constable must refer the matter to the appropriate prosecutor' ", "Further to this, Section 33A(b)(i) of The Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 highlights it is a general function of the Commissioner: 'where directed to do so by the appropriate prosecutor, to investigate any circumstance in which there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed an offence' ". In any group of people there is a danger of group‑think that could contaminate or colour evidence inadvertently or otherwise. Being a police officer is a stressful profession that puts individuals into pressurised situations where they may be dealing on a daily basis with crime, violence, vulnerable people, victims, deaths and the bereaved. Dame Elish called for deaths in custody to be treated with the same urgency as homicide investigations, and for the family of the deceased to have free legal advice and representation "from the earliest point" and throughout any subsequent inquiry. out more about cookies, Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know. It also raises serious concerns about racism and discrimination within the force and calls for a separate, broader review to look into equality issues. A review looking into the handling of complaints against the police in Scotland has called for “wide-ranging and significant improvements” to the system and the culture of Police Scotland. The availability of a recorded account of an incident provides significant assistance in investigating complaints against the police or wider investigations. 66. (Police Chief Chuck Jordan, Tulsa Police Department). Some evidence was provided of over‑stretched line managers: sergeants facing little respite in carrying out their operational and line management responsibilities, and inspectors with increased burdens who were also asked to deal with complaints referred to them from the Complaints Assessment and Resolution Unit (CARU). Early separation of officers, other than in pressing operational circumstances, is the best way to ensure non-conferral in practice, give transparency to the process and preserve the integrity of each individual's evidence. For example, the use of police officer line managers to investigate a non‑criminal matter may not be impartial, either because the investigator knows the subject officer and already has a positive or negative knowledge or perception of them. In 2018‑19 39.8% of all complaints were resolved by PSD Frontline Resolution and 8.5% were resolved by Divisional Frontline Resolution. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our websites. There is an obligation on serving police officers and support staff to resolve non‑serious internal differences or disagreements in a professional and respectful way through discussion or mediation rather than by disproportionate use of formal systems. You should use this form to initiate the process of making a formal complaint against one or more officers or members of support staff employed by Police Service of Scotland. Police Scotland to consider employing more non‑police officer support staff with appropriate seniority, skills and knowledge of complaints handling A constable's duties are set out in the 2012 Act, in the declaration[33]that each constable makes on taking up office, in Police Scotland's Code of Ethics, and in the statutory Standards of Professional Behaviour, all of which to some extent express or imply a statutory, ethical or procedural duty on that person to assist in the investigation of a serious incident and uphold Convention rights. 62. 118. There is a spectrum of behaviour that generates grievances and complaints and in some cases allegations about different levels or types of behaviour may be more serious and may amount to bullying or even criminal matters. It is for the Lord Advocate to consider whether he would wish to set a deadline for the Procurator Fiscal to provide directions to the PIRC. The rank structure and lack of opportunities - Police Scotland has over 13,500 constables compared with around 2,400 sergeants - means that promotion at all ranks is highly competitive and can be a source of frustration that drives internal grievances and complaints. 104. 137. Both the Pirc and the Scottish Police Authority said they would consider the report's findings. The principal organisations provide varying degrees of support to members of the public whether they be complainers, victims of crime, witnesses or relatives. However, they considered that the issue of funding was one that has to be addressed. 139. For the relevant officers in PSD Police Scotland should consider the importance of providing all officers involved in frontline resolution with training in mediation and customer‑handling. It also raises serious concerns about racism and discrimination within the force and calls for a separate, broader review to look into equality issues. The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner is independent of the police but employs several very experienced former police officers as well as investigators from non‑police backgrounds. 72. Those five principles are: 87. If the triage system is working correctly it is a reasonable system to have in place to deal with complaints as soon as possible and to allow the organisation to learn from any deficiencies in the response or behaviours of officers or in their own organisation. It is incumbent upon the police therefore that where a complaint is made that reasonably infers conduct of a criminal nature or a breach of the Convention rights under Articles 2, 3 and 5 these matters must be reported forthwith to the Procurator Fiscal, who is entirely independent of the police. Anyone who knowingly makes a false complaint or allegation about a police officer or member of police support staff may be prosecuted by the Procurator Fiscal for the offence of wasting police time or attempting to pervert the course of justice. Evidence to the Review has raised questions, in the context of the investigation of serious complaints, about the importance of securing evidence speedily, for example the retention period for CCTV evidence can be limited to as short a period as 28 days. 107. 131. For non-emergencies and general enquiries, 101 is the number you call if you In the final report this important element of the systems in place will be explored and addressed. While these people are no longer police officers, members of the public may nonetheless have concerns about the perception of impartiality of such investigations. 102. The police service has always been structured around a command and control hierarchy, strict discipline, adherence to lawful instructions from a senior rank and rules that are often set out in statute. Describing that outcome as "resolved" might readily be interpreted by the complainer as a positive outcome when in fact what is recorded on the Centurion complaints database in such cases is "Not upheld". Conferral happens when police officers or support staff who may have been involved in a serious incident come together at the conclusion of the incident to recover from the trauma of the incident and talk with each other. If you have a complaint about a policing body in Scotland, you must first make your complaint to the body concerned to allow them the opportunity to resolve your concerns. That decision can have significant ramifications for everyone involved. It operated between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2013. Tel: 101 (non-emergencies and general enquiries) or 01786 289 070 Minicom: 1 800 1 101 Recommendation: Police Scotland should accelerate its plans to expand the use of body‑worn video technology. 97. Recommendation: Police Scotland should scrutinise complaints thoroughly on receipt so as to ensure that grievance matters that would in any other walk of life be treated in an HR context are not artificially elevated and dealt with as conduct matters. At present there is evidence that no such audits have been carried out by the PIRC since 2017 and those carried out by SPA have, until very recently, been superficial and inadequate. The perception that such interactions have happened can also have a detrimental impact on public confidence generally and the attitude and involvement of victims, families and other witnesses. The response needs to be proportionate based on an assessment of the reliability and credibility of the information provided and the individual complaining, as far as that is possible, as well as the seriousness of the allegations. Those leaders are critical in creating a constructive atmosphere between Police Scotland, the SPA and the PIRC, and those relationships are one of the mechanisms which should facilitate the effective operation of the checks and balances within the oversight and scrutiny arrangements. "I agree it is crucial that the culture of Police Scotland is welcoming and inclusive to all and that we support all our people to thrive and flourish in what is an extremely demanding job," he said. It will also examine the existing welfare provision. 77. Although it is part of the statutory responsibility of the PIRC, no such audits of frontline resolution have been carried out by the PIRC since 2014; and while the SPA have carried out regular quarterly dip‑sampling these exercises have until very recently been superficial and unsatisfactory. Four of the 13 local police divisions have small dedicated CAP (Complaints Against the Police) Units, which liaise closely with PSD but are not part of PSD. 101. Email: secretariat@independentpolicingreview.scot, Your feedback will help us improve this site, Policing - complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues: independent review - preliminary report, Complaints Handling Process, Investigations and Misconduct, Scottish Parliament Justice Committee Post‑Legislative Scrutiny Inquiry, Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Interactions Between The Four Principal Organisations, Relationships and Culture, Whistle‑Blowing by Police Officers and Support Staff, Annex B - List of legislation and guidance, Annex C - Standards of Professional Behaviour, Annex D - List of written submissions to the call for evidence, Find 121. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. Our story came days after former lord advocate, Dame Elish Angiolini, in a report commissioned by ministers, urged the Scottish Government to overhaul how complaints against Police Scotland … At the other end of the spectrum, in cases involving allegations of criminality against police officers, COPFS fulfils the role of the independent investigator and can also direct the PIRC or the police to investigate on its behalf. Recommendation: Where a serious incident is being investigated by the PIRC, the investigators should also have a power, where it is necessary and proportionate, to compel police officers to attend within a reasonable timescale for interview. 86. All fields marked with (required) are mandatory and must be filled in. That assumption of co‑operation should be put beyond doubt in the primary legislation, including in the wording of the constable's declaration. 113. The Working Group that I have proposed at paragraph 285 should have a role in reviewing the language used by Police Scotland in its correspondence with complainers, simplifying and clarifying the language used, with a view to increasing openness both with complainers around outcomes and with those who scrutinise Police Scotland. In the case of a death in custody or following police custody, or in certain other circumstances, unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect criminal activity about the actions of an officer or officers, each individual officer should be interviewed as a witness as soon as practicable after the event and without reference to or conferral with other police officers or other witnesses. In 2016 PSD evolved into the current national functional model which is based in 3 regional hubs (east, north and west). 90. Local policing is supported by a number of national specialist divisions and corporate services. 132. Because of the very nature of anonymity these complaints require to be treated with caution because of the potential false, vexatious and defamatory nature of the allegation. The PIRC can review complaints about a number of policing organisations operating in Scotland. The interests of one officer present in a group may also be quite distinct from, and in conflict with, another's interests. "Police Scotland will continue to work with communities and other partners to relentlessly improve how we serve our fellow citizens and maintain their trust and support.". It has also raised issues about delays in witness interviews and delays in the provision of operational statements or witness statements. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}The police watchdog should be given greater powers to deal with complaints against the national force, according to a major independent review. There is more information about how complaints are dealt with in the Complaints about the police guide on the Police Scotland website. The most common on‑duty allegation categories are Irregularity in Procedure, Incivility and Excessive Force. Recommendation: Police Scotland should review the service‑wide capability of its line managers to line manage effectively, including the adequacy of training and mechanisms of support for line managers. Where required, PSD can call on Police Scotland's specialist units, such as Road Traffic, the National Rape Taskforce or Domestic Abuse Taskforce, to assist with complaints investigations. 146. 150. 68. The Review received evidence that PSD personnel did not receive training in mediation. 114. PSD staff in CARU agree with the complainer the specifics of the complaint (known as Heads of Complaints) and assess the appropriate route for the complaint, and may allocate complaints to a local division to respond to if the matter is not suitable for resolution over the telephone. The most common on‑duty allegation categories are Irregularity in Procedure, Incivility and Excessive Force. My starting point is that those in the office of constable and holding the powers of that office have a higher duty than others to account for their actions and record what they did or saw in the execution of their duties. 117. There is a perceived concern amongst officers that if an officer makes a mistake then a subsequent PIRC investigation will find fault with individual officers' actions...". 134. 115. In the case of a death in custody or following police contact the PIRC should also be informed. On the other hand serving police officers have indicated in their evidence that former police officers within the PIRC may take an overly robust disposition to the investigations they carry out by being hard on police officers. The role of the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) was introduced in 2013 when the single Police Service of Scotland was established. This precipitate escalation may reflect a cultural or structural reluctance to engage with the normal employment law grievance practices. The purpose of the intervention is to allow the officer to act on the feedback, review and modify their behaviour as appropriate or undertake further training. The level of support should be proportionate to the seriousness of the complaint and the vulnerability of the complainer. 70. The DCC for People and Professionalism has a wide-ranging portfolio that includes people and development, legal services, corporate communications, professional standards and complaints and conduct. The evidence also suggests a lack of recognition that some behaviours may be attributable to the environment in which police officers operate and a need for underlying causes of those behaviours to be identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity before they manifest themselves in performance or conduct issues. Police Scotland have a long‑term aim in Policing 2026[36], their 10-year strategy document, to expand the use of body‑worn cameras, but this objective will only be a realistic prospect when financial and structural constraints are addressed. In 2014 the Chapman report[23] recommended that the relevant legislation in England and Wales should be amended to include a provision to tackle vexatious complainers. The broad‑based pyramid structure of Police Scotland makes it likely that most constables will serve their police careers as constables, and the Review heard evidence that, for those who are promoted, the average time to reach the rank of sergeant is 15 years. Victim involvement, that is, allowing the complainer to be involved in the complaints process in order to safeguard his or her legitimate interests, is one of the five principles that the European Court of Human Rights has developed for the effective investigation of complaints against the police that engage Article 2 or 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This approach will help to preserve the integrity of evidence, protect the rights of all those involved and the welfare of the police officers. 129. 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