Independent Assurance Review - Police Scotland Call Handling Update Report

22 May 2018

This report provides an update on the progress made by Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority in response to the HMICS Independent Assurance Review of Police Scotland’s Call Handling, published in 2015.

The assurance review was directed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice following the tragic incident involving the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell and sat alongside the independent

investigation directed by the Lord Advocate and conducted by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) into that specific incident

The HMICS review did not examine the circumstances of this incident, but provided wider independent assurance of the operation, systems and processes in place within police Contact, Command and Control (C3) facilities across Scotland.

Following the publication of the Final Report in 2015, HMICS carried out a programme of ongoing assurance work providing updated reports. This assurance activity has continued over the past year to assess progress against the remaining recommendations and to monitor the continuing implementation of the change programme. HMICS can now confirm that all recommendations are closed.

A number of further recommendations have been made in this report to ensure that key areas of development and risk continue to be addressed by the SPA and Police Scotland. These

recommendations are primarily for the attention of Police Scotland as a whole and not specific to C3 Division, which will continue with its ongoing improvement approach. HMICS will closely

monitor the delivery of the recommendations and make unannounced visits to ensure that the development to date continues. Police Scotland and the SPA will be asked to create an action plan to address the recommendations contained within this report. HMICS will scrutinise progress against the action plan.

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Police Scotland should develop a route map for ICT development and investment in C3 systems as soon as possible in order to secure appropriate medium to long term investment in this critical area of policing operations.


Police Scotland should resource the development of a C3 Procedures Manual, securing process analysis skills, and prioritise and support this as part of ongoing continuous improvement work.


Police Scotland, through its Local Approaches to Policing programme, should develop a public contact strategy, which sets out a multi-channel approach to engagement and service provision and includes publication and monitoring of standards of service.


Police Scotland, through its Demand, Productivity and Performance Programme, should develop a cohesive approach to reducing failure demand across the service and ensure that C3 performance is fully reflected in the national performance framework.


Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority should adopt the C3 governance, programme management and quality assurance approaches as standard in implementing significant change programmes.


Police Scotland, through its Local Approaches to Policing programme, should develop a risk and vulnerability model to support the most appropriate response to the wide range of demands for service. This should incorporate the future role of Public Assistance Desks.


Police Scotland should ensure that the demand forecasting and planning tool in use within C3 Division is reviewed as a matter of priority and functionality is formally evaluated to extend its usage.


Police Scotland should ensure that C3 Division further develops its approach to continuous improvement and maintains its investment in its governance and improvement and business development teams.

Publication type: 
Inspection report