Appendix B Stakeholder questionnaire
QPM BA(Hons) RCDS
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary
5 August 2008
INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF POLICING STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION
You may know that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Mr Kenny MacAskill announced on 23 May 2008 that he had asked me to conduct an independent review of policing in Scotland and to report with recommendations by the end of December 2008.
The remit I have been given is as follows:
To review the roles and responsibilities of police forces in Scotland with the aim of ensuring
- that all Scotland's communities have equal access to expert and specialist policing and to the resources necessary to investigate major crime, whenever they need it;
- that the delivery of such policing responsibilities does not divert resources away from visible policing in communities;
- in pursuance of this to identify policing responsibilities which might more effectively be delivered nationally, regionally, or by collaboration between forces;
- and to make recommendations for the organisation, governance and accountability which best supports the delivery of those policing responsibilities.
As part of this review it is clearly important to consult with and ascertain the views of certain key stakeholders of policing in addition to members of the police forces/services and police authorities/boards with whom we will be consulting in person. This letter is therefore being sent to the partners of policing in local authorities, the criminal justice system, health boards and the emergency services (a full list is shown as Annex A), as well as other working partners of policing in Scotland and those who represent, examine or act as advocates for partners or key users. We would like to receive your observations or comments on seven broad issues, and any other matters you think we should consider, by 12 September 2008.
Clearly there will be some matters on which your knowledge is not complete but we would ask that you offer a view on what you feel competent to comment upon, based on experience and knowledge of interaction with policing.
For those recipients who head large organisations with regular and varied interaction with police, for instance local authorities, you may wish to consult internally with relevant directors and then provide a combined response.
1. Key issues affecting your current operating context
Before looking ahead we would like to know what you feel are the most important issues currently affecting your service to the public. We are particularly interested in what affects the way you work with the police, with or without other partners.
Question 1: What do you perceive are the key issues affecting your service to the public at present? (This can be limited to a handful of bullet points unless technical explanation is needed).
2. Your strategic outlook
Clearly policing does not operate in a vacuum and one of the influences on how it should be shaped in the future must be the planned or anticipated development of its key stakeholders. For instance, police forces and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland have been strong supporters of the reforms which have introduced community planning, single outcome agreements and criminal justice reform. But it is not yet clear how each of these will ultimately work in practice, nor how the new relationships between policing, community well-being, criminal justice and the devolved Government and Parliament, or the changing face of Europe, will affect stakeholders.
2a. What aspects, if any, of your planned development are likely or ought to have an influence on policing in Scotland over the next 5 years?
2b. What changes, if any, do you anticipate in the environment in which you operate which are likely or ought to have an influence on policing in Scotland over the next 5 years?
3. Important service delivery issues for policing
Your perspective, looking at the police service from outside yet sometimes at close quarters, will be valuable to our review. There are several broad themes that most people within policing might agree appear to be important in terms of delivering the best possible service to the public, but we are keen to learn what you think about this. Naturally crime and therefore the victims of crime as well as witnesses and potential victims of crime are very important in terms of service delivery. But most commentators would agree that all members of the public receive a service from the police in relation to crime and the other functions undertaken by the service (for instance responding to minor and major emergencies, assisting partners in the effort to reduce crime and disorder, working to protect people at risk of harm, supporting national security) regardless of whether they have contact with the police or not.
Question 3: What do you see as the important issues affecting police service delivery?
4. How local is local for policing?
You will know that currently most of policing in Scotland is provided by territorial units known as police divisions or command units/areas within the 8 police forces, with some assistance from Force-level functions such as call-handling centres and specialist operational units. Occasionally forces combine to carry out one-off tasks like policing major events or investigating a crime which straddles two or more force areas. At other times specialist units in one force with specific skills or resources will assist other forces (eg for underwater searches or using mounted police). Some policing functions are carried out partially or entirely at national level. Examples of this which are delivered nationally under the recently formed Scottish Police Services Authority ( SPSA) include training, information and communications technology development, maintenance of national databases, and tackling serious organised crime.
Part of this HMICS review will look at how much capability and capacity there is within these three basic levels of policing in Scotland: police divisions/command units, forces themselves, and above force level ( i.e. 'supra-force'). We want to establish whether or not a consistent standard of policing service is provided to all parts of Scotland, particularly in the small volume of high-risk, yet critical policing areas such as:
- serious crime investigation
- tackling organised crime (including IT and internet-related crime, other 'white collar' crime, serious fraud, organised prostitution, human trafficking)
- specialist police use of firearms
- response to major emergencies
- policing of motorways and major routes
- policing of transport undertakings
- air support.
The Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament, in a report on its Inquiry into the Effective Use of Police Resources, published in January 2008, considered that 'suggestions from HMICS that a more systematic approach be taken to determining what functions ought to be provided by the SPSA, or at least coordinated at a level higher than that of individual forces, should be progressed in order to drive further efficiency savings which can be used to augment front-line policing'. 16
We appreciate that many stakeholders will be interested most often or only in the policing activity which represents by far the biggest proportion of activity and is provided and managed locally. This is the very important policing of communities which deals with thousands of daily emergencies, community problems, and the volume crime which is predominantly local in nature and committed by local people. However, we believe it is important to understand what stakeholders think about how this and other types of policing are delivered and the relationship between these. The National Intelligence Model ( NIM) now used by all forces in Scotland recognises that there is often a link between local crime, crime which might be classed as regional or national, and crime which transcends all borders, as well as between the participants in low level criminal activity and those involved in more serious forms of crime. We acknowledge that these links will always need to be addressed in any form of relationship between local, regional and 'supra-force' policing.
We want to try to gauge what needs to be local, how local is local, what need not be, and what needs to be provided at a higher level, at least as far as stakeholders are concerned. We want to ensure as far as possible that there is sufficient resilience to deliver the aspiration articulated in our remit, ie that all Scotland's communities have equal access to expert and specialist policing and to the resources necessary to investigate major crime, whenever they need it.
4a. Are there any broad principles which might help to determine what aspects of policing need to be concentrated at each of the three broad levels of organisation? In other words, what should determine the aspects of policing which need to be locally managed and delivered, what should determine what needs to be managed at a group or regional level (ie what is currently force level for most forces) and what should determine what needs to be managed if not delivered at a level higher than most of the forces in Scotland, i.e. 'supra force'?
4b. Do you believe that all Scottish police forces are currently able to respond to broader strategic issues that impact on communities but may not have manifested themselves in specific incidents or reports to local police (eg how identity fraud is committed and its extent, or the way that organised crime influences drug dealing in communities and the sex industry)?
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland ( ACPOS) has agreed with HMICS that it is important to identify standards of police service delivery, many of which already exist in documents either created or adopted by ACPOS. The Inspectorate believes that this is essential in order to:
- give clarity to the public and policing partners
- promote consistency in policing where that is desirable
- establish what support is needed for local policing.
Currently, for instance, ACPOS has agreed and circulated within the police service a Drugs Strategy, Public Reassurance Strategy, People Strategy, and Diversity Strategy, amongst several others. While these set broad aims and do not prescribe comprehensive standards describing how policing is delivered in these areas, they do provide some standards and could be used to guide compilation of the rest. Other more explicit standards created by ACPOS include the Scottish Crime Recording Standard, and manuals for the police use of firearms, public order and the investigation of homicide. ACPOS has also adopted standards necessarily set elsewhere such as the guidelines issued on crime investigation from time to time by the Lord Advocate or regulations relating to health and safety at work.
Most relevant to this review are those which set a minimum standard for what the public can expect when they interact with or seek police assistance, and those which describe how the police will tackle critical challenges such as those murders or sex offences which have a significant impact on communities, or dealing with armed criminals on the move, or tracing a vulnerable person who has gone missing and may be in any number of places within the UK or beyond.
We appreciate that the nature of locally delivered policing, the differences between communities, and the need to experiment occasionally with new approaches mean that there will always and perhaps should always be variances in the way that policing is delivered. However, we do believe that members of the public have a right to expect the same minimum standard of service wherever they are in Scotland so that, for instance, the police will do all of the same things for the parent of an 11 year old who goes missing in Stornoway, Strathaven, Stranraer, Stonehaven or Stenhousemuir.
5a. Is it possible for police forces and services to maintain their independence while adopting common minimum standards of service delivery?
5b. If so, how might this be achieved?
You will be aware that currently the eight police forces in Scotland are governed by what is known as a tripartite arrangement: the chief constable has complete and independent authority over operational matters as they happen; the police authorities and boards 17 control expenditure, are charged with securing best value, monitor the operation and performance of the force, and appoint chief officers; and the Scottish Ministers determine overall expenditure on policing and work with the other two partners to secure efficient and effective policing. While both the police authorities/boards and Scottish Ministers have some powers over police forces and their chief constables, these are not as significant as the powers of their counterparts in, for instance, Northern Ireland or England and Wales. Police boards and authorities in Scotland are made up entirely of council nominated councillors from the constituent local authorit(y/ies) unlike in Northern Ireland or England and Wales.
Procurators fiscal have a controlling influence over police forces in so far as the investigation of crimes and sudden deaths are concerned. To this end, the Lord Advocate also has influence through the issue of guidelines on specific aspects of criminal investigation. Sheriffs principal also have some powers over chief constables although these have seldom if ever been used in recent times. Chief constables interact with criminal justice partners on important policy and performance issues via local criminal justice boards chaired by sheriffs principal and based on the latters' geographical areas. A national criminal justice board considers matters of national significance.
The recently created Scottish Police Services Authority ( SPSA) is a non-departmental public body which provides a range of support services to Scottish police forces on a national basis including training, forensic science services, ICT development and national database maintenance, and also maintains the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. The legislation which created the SPSA allows Scottish Ministers to transfer other support services to this body, subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament. Currently, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland ( ACPOS) and other police bodies are responding to a request from the Scottish Government that they consider the feasibility of collaborative administration of the recruitment of police officers.
ACPOS is now a limited company which describes itself as 'the professional voice of police leadership in Scotland'. The Association is involved in the formulation of strategies and policies for the police service in Scotland and speaks for the service in dealing with national partners.
The Justice Committee in its January 2008 report on the Effective Use of Police Resources, recommended that:
- the Scottish Government should re-state and clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of chief constables, police authorities and the Scottish Government within the tripartite relationship; 18
- the Scottish Government should review the composition of police authorities to assess whether their capacity to scrutinise their respective chief constables and police forces could be bolstered by augmenting their membership. The Committee considers that independent members, appointed in an advisory capacity, could contribute particular professional skills and expertise; 19
- police authorities should ensure they have access to a sufficiency of professional support and analytical capacity in order to scrutinise the performance of police forces; 20
- the Scottish Government should introduce appropriate mechanisms to strengthen the accountability of ACPOS in order to secure its legitimate status as the leadership of the police service in Scotland. 21
Most recently, the advent of Single Outcome Agreements between the Scottish Government and local authorities, building on the community planning partnerships already in place at local authority level, have arguably strengthened the need for the six police forces who cover more than one council area to concentrate much of their strategic thinking, planning and activity at that level rather than at force level. HMICS has also started to monitor a standard form of self-assessment for policing across Scotland which is based at the level of policing below force level - at divisional/command area and departmental level.
6a. Do you feel there is any need for the mechanisms of police governance to be reviewed?
6b. If so, how might this be achieved?
6c. Is there any other way in which the national role played by ACPOS and the growing importance of partnership working with local authorities and other community planning partners might be accommodated in addition to or instead of changes to police governance?
Question 7: Is there any other issue or information which you feel should influence our review and we should consider?
We would be grateful for your responses to as many of these questions as you feel able to offer. All responses should be sent to HMICS.Independentreview@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 12 September 2008. Please do not hesitate to add anything further that you think we should consider in relation to our review. We intend to make as much as possible of the material collected for this Review publicly accessible so, unless you ask us not to, we will publish your response on our website.
The responses will be analysed within HMICS and we aim to produce a summary report which will also be published on our website. This will then be considered alongside the results of police service consultation (a series of force-based workshops involving senior management and police authority/ board members, and wider consultation), as well as a scoping study of policing arrangements in some similar countries outwith the UK as well as in the rest of the British Isles. Together with previous work completed by ACPOS on a Capacity and Capability Review and some studies in the same area undertaken by the Scottish Government, these separate pieces of work will inform the final review report with recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary by the end of December 2008.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this consultation exercise. As we develop options for consideration we may return to some or all of the stakeholders for further reaction.
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary
Copies for information to:
Chair of Scottish Police Conveners Forum
President of ACPOS
President of Association of Scottish Police Superintendents
Secretary of Scottish Police Federation
Annex A List of addressees:
Chief Executives of 32 local authorities
President of COSLA
Norman McFadyen, Crown Agent
All Area Procurators Fiscal
All Sheriffs Principal
Lord Hamilton, Lord Justice General of Scotland
Jim Martin, Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland
Netta Maciver, Principal Reporter/Chief Executive, Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
Chief Executives of 14 regional NHS organisations
Mike Ewart, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service
Eleanor Emberson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Court Service
Adrian Lucas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service
Chief Fire Officers of the eight fire and rescue services
Chief Officers of Community Justice Authorities
Jonathan Evans, Director General, The Security Service
Bill Hughes, Director General, Serious Organised Crime Agency
UK Border Agency
Peter Neyroud, Chief Executive, National Policing Improvement Agency
Iain McMillan, Director, CBI Scotland Office
Alan Dobie, Executive Director, Scottish Business Crime Centre
Dr Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission
David McKenna, Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland
Susan Matheson, Chief Executive, SACRO
Robert Black, Auditor General for Scotland
Joseph O'Donnell, Chief Inspector of Prosecution for Scotland
Alexis Jay, Chief Inspector, Social Work Inspection Agency for Scotland
Dr Andrew Maclellan, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland
Graham Donaldson, HM Senior Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland
John Vine, Chief Inspector for the UK Border Agency