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02 July 2015
Inspectors to review Police Scotland response to cyber crime

Inspectors to review Police Scotland response to cyber crime

Police Scotland’s response to the growing threat of cyber crime and how it fares compared to other parts of the UK will be reviewed, inspectors have announced.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary of Scotland (HMICS) said the review, which will be launched later this year, will focus in particular on the police response to victims of such crimes.

Inspectors’ assessment of cyber policing will run for five months from October and will “consider the extent to which the digital technology aspects of crime and policing may require new approaches, resourcing and future investment by Police Scotland”.


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Comparative research will also be carried out with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to HMICS.   

Details of the work have been outlined in the inspectorate’s annual scrutiny plan for 2015-16, which also confirms an imminent review of Police Scotland’s use of facial recognition technology.

The decision follows concerns raised at Holyrood by the Scottish Liberal Democrats over the single force’s use of facial recognition capabilities within the UK Police National Database.

Inspectors will consider the statutory framework that underpins the police use of custody and other biometric images in Scotland, governance and oversight arrangements, as well as the recording and retention of information.

“For completeness it will also provide comparisons with approaches used in England and Wales and the wider policing and societal opportunities and threats which arise from new and emerging biometric technologies,” says HMICS annual scrutiny plan.  

Ten other reports are also to be published over the course of the year, including a follow-up review of stop and search in spring next year as well as a look at forensic services.

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