This report outlines how Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) has carried out its statutory function for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
It also contains the reflections of HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland on the state of policing in Scotland during 2020-21.
By 1 April 2020, almost a month had passed since the coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The United Kingdom was effectively in lockdown, with people being instructed to stay at home in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Legislation had been introduced rapidly to provide the police with new powers to enforce the public health measures aimed at saving lives.
The HMICS 2020-2021 Scrutiny Plan was published in August 2020 and took account of the impact of the response to COVID-19 in terms of priorities and timescales. The rescheduling of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) from November 2020 to November 2021 resulted in a change to the timing of the assurance review on the policing of COP26.
The scrutiny plan was revised in November 2020, when it was decided to defer the planned inspection of the national roll out of Police Scotland’s contact assessment model (CAM). This decision was announced on 3 December 2020, and a revised version of the 2020-21 Scrutiny Plan was published in January 2021. Public health legislation and guidance was followed in all of inspection activity, adapting methodology to ensure the safety of all participants. The commitments of the 2020-2021 scrutiny plan have largely been fulfilled, albeit some inspections did suffer delays and were not published until after the end of March 2021.
Staff at HMICS worked with colleagues from inspectorates for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and remained committed to working with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and lead agency, the Care Inspectorate, to deliver the joint inspection programme on adult support and protection.
This annual report summarises all of the inspection activity carried out during 2020-2021.