The Professional Standards Department is headed by a Chief Superintendent who reports to the ACC for Professionalism and Assurance. In my report to the then Home Secretary[32] I recommended that "other than for pressing operational reasons, police officers involved in a death in custody or serious incident, whether as principal officers or witnesses to the incident should not confer or speak to each other following that incident and prior to producing their initial accounts and statements on any matter concerning their individual recollections of the incident, even about seemingly minor details. 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 … It is imperative that such information regarding these complaints is used to allow the organisation to improve with a view to driving up its standards of performance and service. In my 2017 report[34]on deaths and serious incidents in custody in England and Wales, I noted that when police officers are questioned, "there should be a duty of candour for the police to answer all questions based on their honestly held recollection of events". Dame Elish said: "Much of the evidence presented to me by some serving officers from Black and Asian minority ethnic communities was a chastening reminder that in the police service and in the wider community attitudes have not changed as much as they should have since 1999 - the year of the Macpherson report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry - or as much as we may like to believe that they have.". Where the Chief Constable is made aware of a serious incident which may come into this category, he should as a matter of good practice consult the Commissioner before he or she decides whether to refer. 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. In her report, she said any delay in such cases could add to the distress of families and have a severe adverse impact on police officers involved. 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. The NGAU can refer a case for specialist investigation or to the Anti‑Corruption Unit (ACU). 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. A number of cultural factors affect how police officers and support staff engage with the public and interact with each other in the workplace. 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 Commissioner, who is appointed by Scottish Ministers, is independent of the police and delivers a free and impartial service. In 2018-19 21 misconduct hearings and 11 misconduct meetings took place. Anyone can make a complaint to the IPCC but they tend to only investigate the most serious claims – usually those involving severe injury or death. Furthermore, the group should oversee a review of the guidance on the categorisation of complaints published in 2011. The recent creation of an Assistant Chief Constable post for Professionalism and Assurance in Police Scotland will ensure that the information gleaned from these reports is put to the greatest effect in ensuring that Police Scotland continuously improves its performance. 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. 135. 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. (Police Scotland has over 13,500 constables compared with around 2,400 sergeants.) Recommendation: Police Scotland is a young but now established national organisation with a stable leadership team. 107. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said it it vital all parties reflect on the report in a bid to establish a "gold standard" police complaints system. That task should consider in particular use of "incivility", "excessive force" and "unlawful detention". They highlight the importance of consistency of interpretation, and cite three relevant documents: 99. This is an appropriate juncture to review the effectiveness of the new systems for dealing with complaints against the police in Scotland, how well such Table 1: Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by financial year received 1 Financial Year Number of Complaint Cases 2018/19 6 2019/20 9 1 Data is based on the case received date. PSD officers carry out investigations of more serious non‑criminal complaints and may therefore be perceived as the police investigating the police and lacking institutional independence. 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. 141. There has been some disparity in evidence gathered on this subject. Many of the strengths of our policing organisations are down to that motivation to fulfil a unique and privileged role in society. Officers should be made aware that they are the subject of a complaint against them at the earliest practicable point, provided that such early disclosure would not prejudice any investigation of a complaint. The figure covers the period from April to June, when 63% of people agreed they had confidence in their local police. Police Scotland received 5,919 complaints in 2018-19. This has been compounded by the reduction in the number of sergeant posts, changes to police pensions and a higher likely retirement age. There is an obligation on the service and the other agencies involved to ensure that the conduct and complaints arrangements are fair, so that those at the frontline can enforce the law and take decisions in the best interests of the public with whom they are dealing, without fear of an unjustified complaint against them or their behaviour being distorted by perceptions of unfairness or excessive delay in the system. Scotland Yard has decided not to routinely release its own video footage of controversial incidents after internal reviews showed errors by officers, a leaked document reveals. Dame Elish also recommends strengthening the powers of the Pirc and that the Scottish government looks at legislation to allow gross misconduct proceedings against a police officer to be heard in public. ... mygov.scot is the place for people in Scotland to access public services that are easy to find and simple to use. Use our online form to make a complaint. 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. These ranged from minor matters through to those assessed as gross misconduct and relate to conduct both on and off duty. 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 Review also noted the recent Court of Session judgement[35]by Lord Woolman in respect of ill‑health retirement by police officers in which he said: "There is an unbridged gap between the alleged involvement of the officers in a high profile incident and the conclusion that it was in the public interest that they should be prevented from retiring. 109. She said it would be "improper" for her to comment before a public inquiry into the death is complete. 101. On the one hand evidence of what is on offer in terms of welfare provision and other support mechanisms suggests provision is adequate; and on the other hand officers describe difficulties in accessing what is available for any meaningful length of time. At one level Scotland's distinctive policing culture derives from the historical context within which Scottish policing has operated: in a separate jurisdiction and legal system, the unique role of the Lord Advocate, the ethos of the Scottish Police College where all new recruits complete their training and the traditions of the pre-reform forces, constabularies and agencies. In paragraph 276 I have suggested that COPFS may wish to consider whether the Lord Advocate's Guidelines on the Investigation of Complaints Against the Police should be updated, and this issue could be considered in that context. 112. As commissioned by the Cabinet Secretary and Lord Advocate, the review will consist of two phases: 1. the first phasewill include a consideration of current procedures and guidance to identify areas for immediate improvement 2. the second phasewill include a wider assessment of the frameworks and practice in relation to complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues, covering the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, the SPA and Police Scotland. These units co-ordinate complaints to be followed up in their local division. Six years have passed since the creation of radical, new policing structures for Scotland. The Review commenced in September 2018. Subject to the supporting infrastructure being in place, cameras should be rolled out nationally to all police officers working in the custody environment or in a public‑facing role. 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