Posted: Thursday 6 September 2012
Two thirds of complaints handled reasonably by police
In his third Annual Report as Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, Professor John McNeill has highlighted evidence of improvements in the way that police handle complaints from the public and said that it bodes well for the single force.
The report published today [6 September 2012] by Professor John McNeill, reveals that 64 per cent of the 652 individual complaints reviewed in the financial year to March 2012 were handled reasonably by the police, compared to just over half (54%) last year.
The number of recommendations made within the reports to the eight forces rose to 185 from 134 last year. The increase is largely due to the Commissioner finalising more reports during the year, rather than an increase in the number of recommendations made in each report. The majority of recommendations by the Commissioner require further action by the force involved in the original complaint. Typically this could involve additional work of an aspect of the complaint or an apology for failings in the original investigation.
Professor McNeill said: I have used my Annual Report to highlight our achievements this year and the groundwork we have done to prepare the organisation for the challenges that lie ahead for the body providing independent oversight of the police in Scotland.
The complaints that land on my desk come from people who think that their case has not been handled well and when my review finds poor practice I speak out. However, it is also important to acknowledge that, in the course of my work, I see many examples of good practice in complaints handling in the forces across Scotland, something that bodes well for the new single police force."