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20 June 2018

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Dame Elish to head review into handling of complaints about Scottish police

The Scottish Government has appointed the Rt Hon. Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE to lead an independent inquiry into how complaints about Police Scotland are handled.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, told the Scottish Parliament: “Five years on from the creation of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, the time is right to look at how the structures and processes are working. To do that effectively will require an independent and authoritative assessment, which is why I, together with the Lord Advocate, have commissioned the Rt Hon. Dame Elish Angiolini QC to take that work forward.

“I am delighted that Dame Elish has agreed to lead the review. Members will be aware that, as a former procurator fiscal, Solicitor General for Scotland and Lord Advocate, she is exceptionally well qualified to scrutinise these issues. Her outstanding record of public service in Scotland is well known. She chaired the Commission on Women Offenders, the Mortonhall Crematorium Investigation for the City of Edinburgh Council and the National Cremation Investigation for the Scottish Government. More recently, she led the independent review into serious incidents and deaths in police custody in England and Wales for the United Kingdom Government.”

The inquiry is expected to take up to two years.

Dame Elish said: “It is vital that systems for handling complaints, investigating serious incidents and alleged misconduct in relation to the police are robust, fair, and trusted.

“I look forward to engaging with those with direct involvement and experience of the current system – from all perspectives – to understand how it is working in practice and to identify areas for improvement.”

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