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Former lord advocate Dame Elish Angiolini to review police complaints handling

Former lord advocate Dame Elish Angiolini to review police complaints handling

Former Police Scotland chief constable Phil Gormley - Image credit: PA Images

Former lord advocate Dame Elish Angiolini is to review the processes for handling complaints against the police.

The independent review, jointly commissioned by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and Lord Advocate James Wolffe, will also look at how serious incidents and alleged misconduct are investigated.

The review will report on the effectiveness of “structures, operational responsibilities and processes” for complaints handling within Police Scotland.

It will also make recommendations for improvements to ensure the system is “fair, transparent, accountable and proportionate”.

Matheson said: “Most of us recognise and welcome the diligent, expert and often courageous work of the many thousands of police officers and staff who help keep Scotland’s communities safe. 

“That public confidence is also sustained by knowing that when things go wrong, the police are held to account, lessons are learned and improvements made.

“Given some of the questions raised in recent times about the processes for police complaints-handling, investigations and misconduct issues, and whether they could be improved, the time is right for this independent review, which will be ably led by Dame Elish.

“The review will seek to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear, agreed protocols will balance transparency with appropriate levels of confidentiality, and that the processes are fair, transparent, accountable and proportionate, upholding fundamental human rights.”

Angiolini said: “It is vital that systems for handling complaints, investigating serious incidents and alleged misconduct in relation to the police is both robust and fair, and trusted by all those involved.

“I look forward to engaging with those with direct involvement and experience of the current system – from all perspectives – to understand how it is working in practice and to identify areas for improvement.”

The review follows questions over the handling of complaints against senior police officers, including former chief constable Phil Gormley.

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