A request to establish a new sub-committee on policing has been made by the Justice Committee today.
The remit of the sub-committee would be to oversee the new single Police Service of Scotland due to go live on 1 April this year and the Scottish Police Authority.
The proposal is that the new sub-committee meets quarterly and be composed of six MSPs; three members of the Justice Committee, plus three members from committees with an interest in policing matters. The sub-committee would meet in public and report back to the Justice Committee on a regular basis until the end of the existing parliamentary session.
Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said:
“As we have already witnessed, the establishment of the single police force has raised a number of serious issues over the role and control of both the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland and the overseeing body, the Scottish Police Authority.
“In setting up the new national police body, an incredibly powerful organisation, it is vital we get it right first time. We believe it therefore commands a more formal and detailed examination of its accountability than the Justice Committee can devote to it due to our heavy legislative programme. Three of our members will of course sit on the cross-party sub-committee and keep us updated on all matters.”
The intention is that the first meeting of the sub-committee on policing takes place before 1 April 2013
Sub-committees can be established under Standing Orders Rule 12.5 with the approval of Parliament on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau.
The last Scottish Parliament sub-committee was established in Session 2 by Justice 2 in 2006 on the Child Sex Offenders Inquiry.