12 April 2022
Domestic abuse, online fraud, missing persons, legitimacy and organisational culture are among the aspects of policing in Scotland which will be under review in the coming months and years.
The wide ranging inspections by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which also include areas such as probationer training, strategic workforce planning, healthcare in custody and forensic services, are detailed in the body’s Scrutiny Plan which is published today (Tuesday 12th April).
Covering the next three years, it is the result of the most extensive consultation exercise conducted by HMICS with its partners and stakeholders including Police Scotland, its officers and staff; the Scottish Police Authority and was open to the public to comment.
The first three year plan from HMICS, it comes as Craig Naylor takes over the role of HM Chief Inspector, succeeding Mrs Gill Imery QPM who retired on April 1.
He said: “In arriving at decisions about our priorities for the 2022-25, we tried to cover many of the areas suggested via the consultation. Any not included will be revisited during future reviews of this plan to assess if the level of risk has changed and, if so, what is the best route forward.
“The areas highlighted in the consultation but not in this plan will be discussed with Police Scotland and the SPA to allow them to consider how best to address them.”
Mr Naylor added: “It is important the public has confidence in policing and it would be naïve of us to ignore issues throughout the UK which may have diminished that trust. Therefore we will examine whether Police Scotland has a healthy organisational culture and ethical framework with appropriate values and behaviours across the service.”
HMICS carries out three forms of inspections – audit and assurance which allow for detailed scrutiny of critical systems in high risk areas; thematic reviews which focus on significant policing issues and collaborative reviews carried out jointly with other scrutiny bodies.
“We aim to add value and strengthen public confidence in Scottish policing through independent scrutiny and objective, evidence-led reporting about what we find, added Mr Naylor. “Where relevant, we will make recommendations to Police Scotland and the SPA to improve policing . We monitor and report on progress against recommendations and follow up inspections where necessary. We also identify good practice that can be rolled out across Scotland and ensure that the public are aware of the successes achieved by the service.”
In his introduction to the Scrutiny Plan, Mr Naylor paid tribute to Mrs Gill Imery. He stated: “She sought to improve policing in Scotland, consulting widely to understand the needs of the public, our communities, the workforce and leadership of the service in Scotland. The relationships and partnerships she developed and maintained are testament to both her credibility as a senior leader but also her independence and integrity.”