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Police Complaints And Misconduct - Consultation Launched On New Legislation

24th May 2022

Plans for future legislation are part of the Scottish Government's response to an independent review into the handling of complaints against the police.

The Scottish Government has launched a 12-week consultation on a new Bill which delivers on a Programme for Government commitment made in September last year.

The consultation follows the recommendations of an independent review of police complaints handling, investigations and misconduct in Scotland by Dame Elish Angiolini.

A total of 34 recommendations have been implemented since her report was published in 2020, but others require legislative change.

The consultation on a proposed Police Complaints, Investigations and Misconduct Bill will seek views on key reforms including:

police officer gross misconduct hearings to be held in public
accelerated misconduct hearings for all ranks of officer where the evidence supports this
new processes to deal with gross misconduct even after officers leave the service
additional powers for the Police Investigations and Review
Commissioner including recommending suspension of officers
Scottish Police Authority to have liability for unlawful conduct by a Chief Constable

Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans Keith Brown said, "The vast majority of our police officers and police staff work tirelessly to protect our communities. However we have to recognise that things do, at times, go wrong.

"It is in everyone's interests - from police officers and staff to the general public - that we have robust, clear and transparent mechanisms in place for investigating complaints or other issues of concern.

"The Scottish Government and partners have already made progress on the implementation of many of Dame Elish's recommendations, but others require legislative change.

“Through this consultation we are seeking the views of the public, key partner organisations and stakeholders on these important next steps in line with our wider commitment to ensure all public services are accountable, transparent and trusted."

Police Complaints, Investigations and Misconduct: A Consultation on Legislation