An audit published today (6 February 2012) by the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, has found that complaint recording by Central Scotland Police is "generally robust" with sophisticated procedures for handling correspondence and well-trained staff.

The Commissioner awarded the force a rating of "Substantial Assurance". This is the second highest rating available which is defined as "essentially a sound system but with weaknesses that put some system objectives at risk".

The audit of Central Scotland Police is part of a programme by PCCS looking at the initial complaint recording practices of all eight forces. It aims to assess how well the police are identifying and recording complaints from the public, irrespective of the methods or channel used to make the initial complaint.

The audit looked at 510 records received by the force during the period 1 April 2010-31 March 2011. This included correspondence addressed to the Area Commander from the public, councillors, MPs and MSPs, as well as mail and emails received by the force's Business Support Unit in Falkirk through its document handling system that records, scans, forwards and tracks correspondence.

The PCCS found three complaints captured on the system that had not been recorded on the police force database as complaints. The errors arose because Complaints and Conduct Unit at Central Scotland Police had not been copied into correspondence when it was forwarded to the relevant Area Command for action.

In his report, the Commissioner accepts that the force had identified this weakness and guidance had been issued to address the issue on 1 November 2011, prior to the audit taking place.

Professor John McNeill, the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland said: The corporate approach adopted by the force and its investment in technology and staff training provides the force and the public with confidence in its overall recording practices.

Temporary DCC Gordon Samson said: "The PCCS audit was welcomed and the results are positive for the force. The individual complaints identified have now been recorded and the recommendation to incorporate a further audit into the complaints recording process is being progressed."

Read the full report>>>