PUBLISHED 27 JUNE 2016
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) has today, Monday 27 June 2016, published an Assurance Review of Police Scotland's Counter Corruption Unit, as requested by the SPA.
The full report can be accessed from the following page on HMICS website: HMICS Assurance Review - CCU - June 2016
Responding to the report and its findings, Andrew Flanagan, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), said:
“The SPA is very clear that in the free society we enjoy, there must be freedom for the press to follow stories wherever the sources and information trails lead them. It is also important that the police are able to fully investigate criminality and prevent harm, including within their own organisation. There is therefore a balance to be struck and sound judgement applied on the occasions when these two principles come together.
“The investigation last year that ultimately led to the breaches of the code of practice identified by IOCCO raised legitimate public questions about whether Police Scotland had struck the right balance – not only on the specific issue relating to journalistic sources but also to the wider approach applied to countering potential vulnerabilities around corruption.
“The SPA’s request to HMICS to carry out this assurance work began a process of seeking answers to those questions, and today’s detailed but accessible report delivers strongly on that objective. It is a source of regret that this report also shows that the previous Police Scotland leadership missed opportunities to clarify at an earlier stage a number of pertinent issues for the public record.
“That contrasts with the very strong and decisive response that Police Scotland has made today, one which signals the beginning of a comprehensive transformation in this area of policing. The review that Police Scotland has announced, and on which the SPA will be an active participant, will be a root and branch one - on priorities, on capability, on culture, and on policies, protocols and processes.
“We welcome the clarity of the report and its findings, and will ensure that Police Scotland fully and swiftly address its findings and recommendations. The recommendations made to the SPA, for example on how to better handle complaints made against officers involved in investigating corruption, are areas for improvement I identified in my own evidence to the Scottish Parliament earlier this year.
“Taken together, the insight from the HMICS report, the work already undertaken by the new Police Scotland leadership team, and the comprehensive review now underway provides a clear path for the service to drive improvement and rebuild both workforce and public confidence.”