On 19 June 2018, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson announced in Parliament that he and the Lord Advocate have jointly commissioned Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC to lead an independent Review of Complaints Handling, Investigations and Misconduct Issues in Relation to Policing. Five years on from the creation of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, the time is right to look at how the structures and processes are working. Under Dame Elish’s leadership, the Review will bring independent scrutiny to the framework and processes for handling complaints against the police and investigating serious incidents and alleged misconduct.
As well as assessing the existing framework, the Review will report on the effectiveness of structures, operational responsibilities and processes. It will also make recommendations for improvements to ensure the system is fair, transparent, accountable and proportionate, respecting the rights of all involved, in order to strengthen public confidence in policing in Scotland.
Whilst the Review will encompass the investigation of criminal allegations against the police, it will not address the separate role of the Lord Advocate in investigating criminal complaints against the police. Nor will it look at the role of HMICS in scrutinising the state, effectiveness and efficiency of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. It will not re-examine specific cases or review specific decisions, although they may provide evidence for an overall assessment of the efficacy of current systems and processes.
The Terms of Reference for the Review can be accessed through the following link.