The Scrutiny Plan for 2021-22 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 2021 to March 2022.
In the lead up to last year’s scrutiny plan (2020-2021), we carried out extensive consultation 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 our previous inspections. Given the extent of this consultation and the delays caused by the pandemic, we have not carried out a further round of consultation however our continued engagement with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, and our active involvement in various groups, mean we have a good awareness of the issues affecting policing in order to identify where scrutiny can add value.
The specific reviews which HMICS will undertake this scrutiny year are described in detail in the plan, however they comprise a combination of Thematic, Audit and Assurance, and Collaborative reviews with a focus on subject areas of policing and test how they are dealt with across the country.
We will work other scrutiny bodies to undertake our Collaborative Reviews. This includes taking part in joint inspections led by the Care Inspectorate to review services for children and young people, and to assess the arrangements for adult support and protection across Scotland. Both these joint programmes have experienced delays due to the pandemic.
Another priority, which was postponed last year, is the HMICS Improvement Project, which will review our inspection framework and methodology, taking account of learning from other scrutiny bodies.
The plan will be under constant review and will be flexible to adapt to emerging issues. Any revision to the plan will be published later in the year.