Inspection into how Crown Office handles criminal complaints against police gets underway

The terms of reference for an inspection into how the Crown Office handles criminal complaints made against the police have been published.

In 2019-20, there were 286 criminal allegations made against the police.

On receipt of such an allegation, COPFS may direct that further investigation be carried out by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) or by the police service’s Professional Standards Department. Whichever course is taken, the investigation remains under the direction and control of COPFS.

HM Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland’s work began in December 2020 and it is due to report in the spring.

It will examine how well criminal allegations against the police are managed by COPFS and the extent to which positive outcomes are being achieved for service users and the public more generally.

This will include consideration of the quality and timeliness of decision making, performance against internally set targets, whether cases progress efficiently, and communication with complainers, the accused and reporting agencies. It will also consider the impact of Covid-19.

Calls have been made for an investigation into COPFS itself over the treatment of the former administrators of Rangers, who were the victims of Scotland’s only ever malicious prosecution.

Tags: COPFS, HMIPS, police

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