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Chamber and committees

Justice Committee

Meeting date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Agenda: Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Subordinate Legislation, Justice Sub-Committee on Policing (Report Back)


Justice Sub-Committee on Policing (Report Back)

The Convener

Our final item is feedback from the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing on its meeting of 1 June 2017. There will be an opportunity for brief comments and questions following the verbal report. I refer members to paper 5, which is a note from the clerks, and I invite Mary Fee to provide the feedback.

Mary Fee

Thank you, convener. The Justice Sub-Committee on Policing met on 1 June to take evidence on the Auditor General’s reports on the review of Police Scotland’s i6 programme and the 2015-16 audit of the Scottish Police Authority.

The sub-committee heard that the failure of the i6 project had impacted on the ability of police officers and staff to do their jobs effectively. Given that investment in Police Scotland estate, fleet and information and communications technology is essential, we welcome Police Scotland’s confirmation that it will not transfer any underspend of its capital budget to its resource budget this year. The sub-committee also received assurances that lessons have been learned, and we look forward to seeing how future ICT projects will be developed and to considering the three-year and 10-year financial plans that are to be published in June and September respectively.

At the sub-committee’s next meeting on 15 June, it will hold an evidence-taking session on the use of body-worn cameras by the police. I am happy to take questions.

John Finnie

That was an accurate reflection of our meeting, but I would simply comment that Mr Leven told us that there are mechanisms to facilitate communication between groups of officers, which was not the case before. In that regard, what has happened is not impacting unduly on efficiency.

Liam McArthur

I think that John Finnie is right—and I also thank Mary Fee for her summary of what was a very useful meeting. The failure of the i6 programme has prevented the delivery of the efficiencies that underpinned the rationale for the creation of Police Scotland, but what was helpful in last week’s evidence session was the reassurance that we got about the structures and practices that are now in place. I think that we now have a lot more confidence than we have had in the past that those challenges might be met, but they are not out of the woods yet.

Mary Fee

To add to the comments of John Finnie and Liam McArthur, I have to say that I was quite heartened by some of Mr Leven’s evidence, and I am slightly more confident than I was before the evidence session about how things will progress.

The Convener

On that positive note, that concludes our 21st meeting in 2017. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 13 June, when we will continue to take evidence on the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill.

Meeting closed at 11:52.