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Scottish public get their say on inspection of national force

The public in Scotland will be involved in scrutiny of policing, under plans unveiled by inspectors.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) is set to use an online survey that anyone with an interest in policing in Scotland can contribute to as part of its assessments of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

The HMICS annual report published in June this year found improvements in areas including call handing and senior recruitment. But it also highlighted concerns over officers on the frontline and those in public protection roles who reported feeling under real pressure.

The report also signalled that a change in the inspection approach was coming with a commitment to “strive to ensure that HMICS focuses on the right areas to highlight and share good practice as well as to identify areas for improvement in policing”.

Among those changes will be an online public survey which will add to the public feedback already in place. The public – and policing staff- will be able to highlight areas of concern that they want investigated.

The survey will run until January next year and the results will help development of the scrutiny plans for next year in assessing service performance.

Police Scotland carries out regular user satisfaction surveys and during 2018-19 asked 15,398 people who reported a crime or incident about their experience. Of those surveyed 81% were satisfied with the way in which their incident was handled, with the same number expressing a high or very high level of confidence in Police Scotland.

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, Gillian Imery, said: “A key part of the consultation exercise is collaboration with key stakeholders. It is also important to me that we reach out to all the communities in Scotland to ensure their concerns are heard.

“It is also critical that we give all staff within Police Scotland and the SPA the opportunity to contribute, which will allow them to voice their concerns to HMICS and highlight relevant issues impacting on their efficiency and effectiveness to conduct their daily business.”

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