Sunday, February 01, 2009

Holyrood calls for Chief Police Officer’s body to be held accountable

MSPs from the Scottish Parliament have called for ACPOS, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland body to be subject to closer scrutiny, as in its current form it is virtually unaccountable.

The Herald reports :

MSPs call for police body to be held to account

MSPs call for police body to be held to account
STEWART PATERSON January 30 2009

An influential committee of MSPs has criticised Scotland's top police officers association, warning it is unaccountable and should be subjected to closer scrutiny.

The Scottish Parliament's public audit committee has called on the government to investigate measures to bring the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) under effective inspection.

Previously, the auditor general, the Justice Committee and Scotland's inspector of police forces have raised similar concerns over lack of transparency and accountability.

In considering an Audit Scotland report into policing the committee, it was argued only individual chief constables are accountable to their own police board, leaving Acpos, as an organisation, answerable to no-one.

Hugh Henry, public audit committee convenor, said: "The committee is aware that Acpos plays a leading part in developing policing policy and practice in Scotland.

"However, it is difficult to see how Acpos is currently held to account for this role.

"The committee believes that the Scottish Government should consider how the work Acpos undertakes can be made more transparent and how Acpos could be more effectively scrutinised."

The committee of MSPs also recommended that there should be a single non-emergency telephone number for police across Scotland.

This was prompted by concerns that 0845 numbers were costing callers money and that the country lacks a national strategy for handling non-emergency calls

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