McArthur: “Ethical shortcuts” in Police Scotland procedures

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today highlighted a bombshell intervention from the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, Kate Frame, who has revealed a series of occasions in which Police Scotland wrongly categorised incidents in a manner which deterred independent scrutiny.

In a letter to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee, Ms Frame identified:

  • a member of the public being unlawfully detained for a number of days which was recorded as a "Quality of Service" complaint;
  • Events eventually reported to to COPFS as ‘an attempt to pervert the course of justice’, initially recorded as ‘incivility’;
  • A complainant who alleged they were struck twice in the face by a police officer who had his complaint recorded as ‘excessive force’ rather than as a criminal allegation of assault.

Her letter also states that: "Contrary to what ACC Speirs suggests, these examples do not indicate a ‘transparency of process’"

Responding to the letter Mr McArthur said:

"This is a substantial intervention from the Commissioner. It challenges the narrative Police Scotland have been putting forward on how complaints are dealt with and categorised.

"Branding the unlawful detention of a member of the public a "quality of service" concern has drawn serious criticism. It’s no surprise he didn’t enjoy the service.

"Police Scotland must respond immediately to these charges and ensure that any ethical shortcuts in their reporting procedures are swiftly circumvented. There is no room for any sort of manipulation."

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