Role of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary ( HMIC)
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary ( HMIC) is a statutory body established under the terms of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967, as amended. HMIC's primary function is to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the forces and organisations that make up the Scottish police service. Other functions include providing advice to Scottish Ministers and examining the manner in which forces deal with complaints against the police. HMIC discharges its duty through an inspection programme. This involves primary and review inspections of forces and Common Police Service ( CPS) agencies, as well as thematic inspections on areas of particular interest or concern.
Role of the Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland ( IPS)
The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland ( IPS) was created in December 2003. It is the independent Inspectorate for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the sole prosecuting authority in Scotland and responsible for investigating sudden deaths and complaints of a criminal nature against the police. The aim of the IPS is to make recommendations that will result in clear and measurable improvements in Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) service delivery, making COPFS more accountable and enhancing public confidence. The principal functions of the IPS are to inspect, or arrange for the inspection of, the operation of COPFS and to report to the Lord Advocate on any matter connected with the operation of COPFS which the Lord Advocate refers.
Scope of the Joint Thematic Inspection
Both Inspectorates are committed to carrying out thematic inspections with the objective of advancing policing and prosecution in Scotland. This is achieved by establishing the state of current practice, by consulting widely with stakeholders, and then formulating comment and recommendations to promote continuous improvement. Given the inextricable links between police forces and COPFS in bringing offenders to justice, it was decided that this thematic inspection should be conducted jointly by HMIC and IPS, using staff from both inspectorates.
This inspection is timed to draw on significant developments within Scotland following the publication of the Bonomy Report in 2002 1, the Normand Report2 in 2002 and the McInnes Report in 2004 3. It has reviewed progress made by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland ( ACPOS) and COPFS against recommendations made in a Joint Protocol, agreed in 2004 (Section 1.8). The inspection has focused upon developments within the "adult" criminal justice system that impact on case management, has examined best practice and made suggestions for improvement, while also identifying good practice. The inspection took cognisance of parallel developments within youth justice across Scotland, and made relevant comparisons with current approaches to improve performance and develop end-to-end targets across all partner agencies.
The aim of this inspection was to examine the current state of case management across the Scottish criminal justice system following the publication of key reports, and to review progress by ACPOS and COPFS against the recommendations made in the Joint Protocol agreed in 2004.
The objectives were to:
- examine criminal justice strategies, partnership working, target setting, approaches to quality, case management processes, co-location, alternatives to prosecution, police reports, requests for information, statements and training
- identify instances of good practice
- make recommendations designed to promote continuous improvement of case management across the criminal justice system in Scotland.
The inspection report has been structured to address issues in the same order in which they were raised by the 2004 ACPOS and COPFS Joint Protocol. Each of the recommendations has been reproduced with relevant background information.
Both HMIC and IPS methodology is to conduct inspections through the use of protocols aligned with the Business Excellence Model created by the European Foundation for Quality Management ( EFQM). This provides a structured and comprehensive examination of key organisational functions including leadership, people, policy and strategy, partnership and resources, processes and results. The approach is now established practice for HMIC and IPS, and ensures that inspections are evidence based.
The joint inspection of the eight Scottish forces and eleven Area Procurators Fiscal was conducted during the months of November and December 2005. Analysis of the protocol responses provided a wealth of information and allowed the inspection team to focus on the most relevant issues during the fieldwork visits. Fieldwork consisted of examining systems and reports, and of interviews with police and Procurators Fiscal staff across a range of levels and responsibilities. An important aspect of this work was interviews with all Chief Constables and Area Procurators Fiscal.
The inspection team consulted with ACPOS, COPFS, Scottish Courts Service, Scottish Children's Reporters Administration ( SCRA) and the National Criminal Justice Board secretariat. Liaison was established with representatives of all relevant Scottish Executive departments, Integration of Scottish Criminal Justice Information Systems ( ISCJIS), Audit Scotland, the Sheriffs' Association, the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. The team also observed a joint inspection of the Manchester Local Criminal Justice Board, involving HMIC in England and Wales as a partner agency.
HMIC and IPS acknowledge the valuable assistance of police forces, Area Procurators Fiscal, and all stakeholders consulted as part of the inspection.
The joint inspection was carried out by staff from HMIC and IPS, under the direction of Mr Kenny McInnes, Assistant Inspector of Constabulary.