Reassurances sought from Police Scotland over handling of complaints
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on Police Scotland to offer reassurances about the speed and robustness of its complaints process as she unveiled new figures showing only a small number of the more than 4,000 complaints made against officers last year results in management action.
A freedom of information request submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats to Police Scotland has revealed that:
- Between October 2021 and 2022, a total of 4,280 complaints were received pertaining to the behaviour of police officers
- 1,234 are still subject to live enquiry while 2,628 were either abandoned, withdrawn or frontline resolved.
- Of the remaining 328 complaints (21 of which were criminal), 79 were either fully/ or partially resolved, of which 63 were subject to ‘management action’. 249 (including 18 criminal) were not upheld.
Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for an extended independent review of equality matters in policing, as recommended by Dame Elish Angiolini, to include a review of police vetting processes and consideration of misogynistic behaviour.
On 18 January it was confirmed that the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) will ask forces to check current staff recruited before tougher vetting of recruits was introduced in 2006, in the wake of the conviction of David Carrick who admitted to dozens of rape and sexual offences as a Met officer.
Deputy leader and former police officer Wendy Chamberlain said: “It is important for upholding the reputation of Scottish policing that complaints against officers are dealt with in a swift but fair manner.
“Less than two per cent of the complaints against Police Scotland officers last year resulted in management action. It may be that the bulk of these complaints were spurious or could be dealt with at a frontline level but in the wake of the heinous crimes committed by David Carrick, its clear that police services across the UK need to get better at recognising patterns of behaviour and not allowing bad apples to escape with a slap on the wrist.
“Police Scotland need to offer reassurances about the speed and robustness of their complaints process
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are also calling for an extended independent review of equality matters, that would include a review of police vetting processes and consideration of misogynistic behaviour in Scotland’s police service.”