The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) have investigated the Scottish Police Authority's complaints handling system.
And they are NOT impressed.
The PIRC commissioner Kate Frame said "The audit has highlighted a number of deficiencies within the SPA's current complaint handling practices."
The PIRC discovered that:
a) Decisions on complaints were made which lacked clarity and transparency and in many cases there was insufficient explanation to demonstrate how the decision was reached.
b) The average time taken by the SPA to conclude complaints was excessive and disproportionate
c) The emphasis placed on members of the public to produce evidence in support of their complaint was not appropriate
d) The SPA needs to put in place guidance on how to handle "whistleblowing"
e) The SPA's internal guidance document for handling complaints was difficult to follow, without clear timescales and instructions on how to progress different types of complaints.
It’s a damning audit, no two ways about it.
However I could have saved the PIRC a ton of time and money.
Because those of us who have ever made a complaint against Police Scotland or the SPA could have told the PIRC that the only “complaints procedure” that exists in the SPA and Police Scotland is a “how to reject complaints procedure”.
This audit will make absolutely no difference to how these charlatans operate.
After we get the usual responses from them such as “we welcome this audit”, "we acknowledge that mistakes were made” and the ubiquitous “lessons have been learned”, it’ll be back to business as usual at the SPA.