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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12182: Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what preparations and police training it has introduced prior to the commencement of Part 1 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 7 November 2017

Since the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act (the Act) was passed, the Scottish Government has led a Part 1 Implementation Group comprising Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Office, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service. The purpose of the group is to ensure that a collaborative approach is taken across the justice system in order to deliver a smooth and timely transition to the new arrest and custody system under Part 1 of the Act. The group meets every 4-6 weeks, with members providing updates on various aspects of their implementation plans.

Police Scotland has created an extensive training package for implementation of the Act. All police officers up to and including the rank of Inspector have received training on the new provisions within Part 1. This has involved e-training and also a one day face-to-face training session on the provisions of the Act. In addition to the general training for all officers, Senior Investigating Officers (SIOs), Interview Advisors and custody officers are currently undertaking role-specific training.

Also in preparation for Part 1 of the Act commencing, Police Scotland introduced a National Custody system across Scotland in January 2017. This system has now been developed to incorporate the provisions contained within Part 1 of the Act and is currently being subjected to user testing prior to the Part 1-compliant version going live in January 2018. Specialist custody officers are currently being trained in the updated system in preparation for it going live.

To support implementation Police Scotland have also carried a process of updating their guidance materials relating to arrest and custody procedures. This includes the creation of aide memoire cards and updated police notebooks containing guidance on the new provisions.