Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) in the United Kingdom have statutory responsibility for the inspection of police forces.


England and Wales

In England and Wales, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary is responsible to the Home Office.[1] The first inspectors were appointed under the County and Borough Police Act 1856; current statutory duties are defined in the Police Act 1996. The current Chief Inspector is former Surrey Police Chief Constable, Sir Dennis O'Connor .

The Inspectorate reports on the activities of the territorial forces of England and Wales and other bodies involved in law enforcement, such as the British Transport Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, HM Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Reporting has also been performed on a voluntary basis for the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police and the Isle of Man Constabulary.

Inspections of the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been made in recent years by invitation on a non-statutory basis by HMIC. The Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 allows HMIC to perform inspection and assessment of services or projects by direction of the Secretary of State.


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) is independent of the Scottish Government.[2] HMICS was established by the Police (Scotland) Act 1857 and is responsible for inspections of the eight Scottish territorial police forces, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, the Scottish Criminal Record Office, the Scottish Police College and the Scottish Police Information Strategy.

Paddy Tomkins, the former Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, was the last appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland in 2007. On Paddy Tomkins retirement in April 2009 Bill Skelly was appointed Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland.[3] This move from an Chief Inspector to Inspector of Constabulary has not been without controversy, with some Scottish Chief Constables objecting to the change.[4]

Until 1 April 2007 HMIC was also responsible for dealing with complaints against the police; since then non-criminal complaints have been dealt with by the Police Complaints Commissioner, following the passing of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006. HMIC has no authority to deal with complaints against Chief Police Officers.

The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 provides a statutory duty of inspection of British Transport Police operations in Scotland.


External links

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