The Scrutiny Plan for 2020-21 sets out how HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) will meet its statutory obligation to inquire into the state, efficiency and effectiveness of both the Police Service of Scotland (Police Scotland) and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). It is published in terms of Section 75 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and sets out HMICS’ inspection priorities for the period April 2020 to March 2021.
The over-arching objective of HMICS is to improve policing for the benefit of the public. It aims to support Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority in delivering services which are high quality, continually improving, effective, and responsive to local needs.
To decide which areas of policing to inspect this year, extensive consultation was carried out with members of the public and key stakeholders, including an online public survey, face-to-face interviews with key individuals, and direct correspondence with key bodies, as well as using information from previous inspections.
The responses to the consultation were discussed at the end of February 2020, and a draft set of priorities for inspection was agreed, however this was revised in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly public health is the top priority during the pandemic, and Police Scotland has an important role to play in supporting the measures introduced to protect public health and ultimately to save lives.
The 2020-21 scrutiny plan takes account of the impact of the response to COVID-19 in terms of priorities and timescales. The resumption of inspection activity will follow public health legislation and guidance to ensure the safety of all participants. The plan will be under constant review and will be flexible to adapt to emerging issues. Any revisions to the plan will be published. The specific reviews which comprise a combination of Thematic and Audit and Assurance are described in detail in the plan.