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Lord Advocate welcomes publication of review into prosecution of criminal allegations against police

The publication of a review into how the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service manages criminal allegations against the police has been welcomed by the Lord Advocate.

 

The report, which was compiled by HM Inspectorate of Prosecutions in Scotland, identified that the public should be reassured by the robust scrutiny which is applied by prosecutors to on-duty criminal allegations against the police.It found that the creation of the specialist Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division in 2013 has resulted in more consistency in prosecutorial decisions.

The report also stated that while overall decision making within COPFS is good, there is scope for improvement in some areas.The findings will complement the broader improvement programme of work initiated by the publication of Dame Elish Angiolini’s 2020 report concerning police complaints handling and investigation.

Speaking following the publication, the Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said:

“This report rightly recognises that the public should be reassured by the robust scrutiny which is applied by prosecutors to on-duty criminal allegations against the police. I welcome its publication and thank the Inspector for her thorough and detailed review.

“The Crown is committed to the fair and effective investigation of reports of criminal allegations against the police and to making decision on prosecutions in a timely manner.

“Prosecutors rely on the trust of victims and witnesses to carry out this role, and we will review our processes around communicating decisions to them to ensure that trust is maintained. 

“COPFS will carefully consider all the recommendations in the report and makes changes, where appropriate, to implement them.”