New Chair begins work on improving police scrutiny


Ms Deacon met with board members to consider how to build trust and confidence and adopt a more collaborative approach to governance in policing.

Susan Deacon, the new Chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), took up post yesterday, meeting with members of the board to discuss how they can accelerate improvement and change in the governance of policing.

On her first day (Monday 4 December), Ms Deacon and the board considered how they will build trust and confidence and adopt a more open and collaborative approach to SPA governance. 

Later that afternoon, the board were joined by Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) Derek Penman for a broader discussion on the collective priorities for change and improvement in policing in Scotland.
During the meeting, Ms Deacon requested independent assurance from DCC Livingstone on the systems, processes, and governance in place within Police Scotland on the use of firearms ranges and armouries.

DCC Livingstone has asked Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs, ACC for Professionalism and Assurance, to liaise with the UK lead for armed policing to have this independent assurance carried out in collaboration with the College of Policing.

DCC Iain Livingstone will report back in time for the Authority’s next public meeting on 19 December, which will be the first for Ms Deacon as Chair. 

The Chair also sought assurance over the current firearms licencing arrangements within Police Scotland and was advised that HMICS was currently finalising a major thematic inspection of this area, and which will report early in 2018.  The Chair welcomed this and committed that the Authority would carefully consider the findings from this report and oversee any recommendations for improvement.

Questions related to both of these issues have been raised in media reporting in recent days, and Ms Deacon has moved to ensure the SPA is leading work to provide wider reassurance to the public.

Susan Deacon, Chair of the SPA, said:

“I am delighted to now be in post and working with the board, Police Scotland and HMICS to consider how we can work together to accelerate improvement, and to build trust and confidence in policing.

“This approach is one part of helping to turn the SPA outwards to the people and interests it is there to serve. That’s an approach I want to develop further around our next public meeting of the Authority on 19 December.”