Scottish Police Authority complaint handling ‘improved’ following commissioner’s follow-up audit

Scottish Police Authority complaint handling ‘improved’ following commissioner’s follow-up audit

A follow-up audit by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) into the quality of complaint handling at the Scottish Police Authorityhas found that the commissioner’s recommendations have been implemented and procedures improved.

One of the key areas of concern highlighted within the initial audit, published in July 2014, was the SPA’s poor recording practices and inaccurate public reporting of complaint statistics.

These gave the incorrect impression that the SPA had received considerably more complaints about senior officers of Police Scotland and the SPA itself than it actually had.

However, the follow-up audit, published today, found that recording had improved and that the SPA is now accurately recording the number of complaints it receives.

Today’s report also identifies that the SPA has improved the information on its website, making it easier for the public to understand how to complain and how the SPA will respond to those complaints.

It is noted that the SPA has also implemented new systems that have resulted in significant improvements in the length of time taken to deal with complaints.

The commissioner, Kate Frame (pictured), said: “It is encouraging to see that in the six months since the initial audit was completed, the SPA has taken significant steps to improve processes and procedures relating to the handling of complaints.

“I am pleased to see that all of the recommendations outlined in last year’s report have been addressed and successfully implemented.”

John Foley, chief executive of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “We welcome the report arising from the PIRC’s audit of the SPA’s complaints function.

“The previous audit conducted in 2014 gave some very clear recommendations for improvement and we are delighted that this latest audit acknowledges the successful delivery of our action plan in line with all of the PIRC’s recommendations.

“The PIRC’s input has been valuable in helping us develop the systems required to deliver our statutory complaints function effectively and we will continue to work with the organisation to ensure our complaints function is delivering efficiently.”

Read the audit here: Scottish Police Authority Complaints Audit 2015

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