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Section 5: KEY conclusions AND RECOMMENDATIONS

889. Reproduced below are the key conclusions and recommendations from the preceding sections of the report.  However, in order to understand fully the nature of the key conclusions and recommendations it is important to consider them in the context of the full report.  Paragraph references have been included in this section to allow easy cross-referencing.

section 1: BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION

Purpose of the inquiry

890. The purpose of this inquiry has been to contribute to the process of restoring public confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service. [paragraph 20]

891. While the Committee was aware of the work being done by David Mulhern, Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority, the Committee could not accept that, in the context of the febrile atmosphere which prevailed in the weeks following the settlement of the civil action raised by Shirley McKie, the production of an Action Plan for Excellence (following a series of inquiries, inspections and reports by professionals in the preceding seven years) would, on its own, be enough to convince the general public that they could have confidence in fingerprint evidence. [paragraph 21]

892. To this end, the Committee considered that the actual process of holding an inquiry could be useful as part of the process to restore public confidence.  The Committee considered that the inquiry would be a forum where, put simply, people could have their say.  The Committee considered that there would be merit, of itself, in the process of evidence-taking as a means by which opinions could be aired; questions could be put and positions could be clarified. [paragraph 22]

893. The remit of the inquiry is forward-looking and is focussed on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scottish Criminal Record Office and the Scottish Fingerprint Service. [paragraph 23]

894. At the same time, however, there was a need to see what lessons can be learned from the key events that surrounded the fingerprint identification process in relation to mark Y7 (the fingerprint which was alleged to have been made by Ms McKie) and the subsequent inquiries, inspections and reports. [paragraph 24]

895. It was relevant for the inquiry to examine the procedures which were followed by SCRO fingerprint officers in the initial identification of mark Y7 and, more generally, the procedures which were in place in the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 1997 and to track how these procedures have changed over the intervening years. [paragraph 25]

896. The Committee also considered it extremely important to examine the basis on which the Scottish Executive chose to settle out-of-court the civil action raised by Ms McKie.  This includes examination of the course of events which led to the settlement of the action and also consideration of the explanation given by the Executive as to why it chose to settle out-of-court. [paragraph 26]

Evidence-taking process

897. In conducting the inquiry, the Committee has sought to bring into the public domain as much information as possible in relation to the Shirley McKie case and the operation of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau. 

The Macleod and Pass reports

898. The Committee was able to obtain from the Minister for Justice, Cathy Jamieson MSP, previously confidential reports prepared for the Scottish Executive by independent fingerprint experts John MacLeod and Michael Pass.  The two reports prepared by John MacLeod concerning mark Y7 had a direct bearing on the decision by Scottish Ministers to reach a negotiated settlement with Shirley McKie.

899. The Committee was adamant that it was in the public interest that these reports should be disclosed.  Indeed, the Committee went as far as to agree a formal motion calling upon the Minister for Justice, to release the documents.  Following further negotiation, the Minister agreed to release the reports to the Committee.  In so doing, the Minister acknowledged the exceptional background to the inquiry and its great importance to the criminal justice system, the discipline of fingerprinting and to public perceptions of both.  The Committee commends the Executive for its recognition of the Committee’s position.  The Committee took the decision to publish the reports in full. [paragraph 48]

The Mackay report

900. The Committee also sought from Colin Boyd the then Lord Advocate, a copy of the police report prepared by Deputy Chief Constable James Mackay following his criminal investigation into the actions of SCRO fingerprint officers in the McKie case.  The Lord Advocate agreed only to release a synopsis of information from the report which related to matters such as organisational culture, processes and standards within the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau.

901. While the Committee referred to the synopsis provided by the then Lord Advocate, it has been wary of placing too much emphasis on the information contained within the synopsis as the extracts could not be considered in the context of the full report.  Given the scope and nature of the Committee’s inquiry, the Committee considers that it would have been in the public interest for this report to have been disclosed in its entirety.  In particular, this would have allowed the Committee to scrutinise the report and closely question Mr Mackay on its contents when he appeared before the Committee to give evidence.  On this basis, the Committee considers that the then Lord Advocate was wrong to withhold the full Mackay report. [paragraph 53]

Section 2: Mark Y7

Conclusions on mark Y7

902. In coming to its overall conclusions on the various issues which stem from the original identification of mark Y7 as having been made by Shirley McKie, the Committee is, above all else, mindful of its remit to consider the implications of the Shirley McKie case and to address the issue of public confidence in the standard of fingerprint evidence in Scotland. [paragraph 333]

903. The Committee considered that, in order to understand the steps that the Scottish Criminal Record Office and the Scottish Fingerprint Service must take to restore public confidence, it was first necessary to go back to the controversy which surrounds the status of mark Y7. [paragraph 334]

904. While this part of the inquiry was difficult for witnesses, the Committee considered it vital that those who wished to express a view on mark Y7 were given an opportunity to do so. [paragraph 335]

905. This was particularly important in respect of the individual SCRO fingerprint officers.  Over a period of years, following the acquittal of Shirley McKie, these individuals have been constrained from commenting on a number of issues with which they were intimately involved. Indeed, to a large extent they were on the receiving end of criticism from a number of sides and, until this inquiry, they had not had the opportunity to respond.  It was right that this inquiry afforded the opportunity for these individuals to have their say. [paragraph 336]

906. Furthermore it was right that the Committee should take evidence from experts from all sides of the argument around mark Y7.  The Committee was fully aware of the passions that this subject invokes and therefore took great care in being as dispassionate and fair as possible in its management of the inquiry. [paragraph 337]

907. It was not appropriate for the Committee to pass judgement on any allegations of criminality and certainly not to allege criminality on the part of any individual.  Likewise it was not appropriate for the Committee to act as a disciplinary tribunal for SCRO officers or, indeed, anyone else. Neither was it appropriate for the Committee to re-try Shirley McKie. [paragraph 338]

908. The Committee considered it important to go into considerable detail in ascertaining why witnesses either did or did not consider that mark Y7 was made by Shirley McKie.  This was done in the full knowledge that it has been acknowledged by HMIC, ACPOS, the chief executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority and Scottish Ministers that a misidentification was made. [paragraph 339]

909. In section 2 the Committee set out the way in which the various fingerprint experts arrived at their conclusions on mark Y7. As part of this process, the Committee has exposed the level of disagreement which exists between the experts. [paragraph 340]

910. What emerged from the evidence-taking process was that the differences of opinion as to the identification of mark Y7 are so fundamental that they cannot, in the opinion of the Committee, be reconciled.  Illustrative of this complete lack of consensus is the fact that John Berry and Peter Swann could, between them, find 32 ridge characteristics in agreement between mark Y7 and Shirley McKie’s left thumbprint and yet Arie Zeelenberg could find none in agreement and 20 in disagreement. [paragraph 341]

911. The Committee found it staggering that respected and highly experienced experts could have such widely divergent professional opinions on the identification of mark Y7. [paragraph 342]

912. But the level of disagreement goes far deeper than one group of experts simply coming to a different conclusion on the identification of mark Y7.  There appears to be fundamental disagreement among the experts on most matters relating to the analysis to which mark Y7 has been subject.  One such area is that there is no agreement on the way in which dissimilarities between marks are accounted for. [paragraph 343]

913. The Committee has been able to detail the numerous areas on which there is disagreement and, in so doing, has hopefully clarified for the general public why mark Y7 has proved so contentious.  The Committee recognises, however, that the general public will still not know why the different experts hold such opposing views on so many matters relating to mark Y7. [paragraph 344]

914. It should be noted that it is not uncommon for disputes over identifications to occur between experts within a fingerprint bureau.  In these circumstances if a resolution cannot be found then a mark is deemed not to have been identified and will proceed no further.  It is far less common for a dispute to arise after an identification has been verified by other experts within a bureau and presented as evidence in a court case. [paragraph 345]

915. However, it is important to note that it is not unprecedented for a single fingerprint to be the subject of such a complete breakdown in consensus among experts.  Scotland is not the only jurisdiction with experience of such a case.  The Committee notes the example of Danny McNamee.  In 1987, Danny McNamee was sentenced for conspiracy to cause explosions in Hyde Park in 1982. As part of the appeal process in 1998, 14 experts analysed a single thumb print.  The appeal  judgement includes the comment—

“Remarkably, and worryingly, save for those who said that the print was unreadable, there was no unanimity between them, and very substantial areas of disagreement.”521 [paragraph 346]

Mark Y7 in the context of the inquiry remit

916. The Committee has not given a view as to whether mark Y7 was correctly identified or not.  It was not part of the remit of the inquiry to give a view on this matter. Indeed, any opinion proffered by the Committee as to whether mark Y7 was or was not made by Shirley McKie would be reported as being the verdict of a re-trial of Ms McKie. [paragraph 347]

917. Instead, the remit of the inquiry is forward-looking and is focussed on the efficiency of SCRO and the Scottish Fingerprint Service.   The primary reason for undertaking the inquiry was to contribute to the process of restoring public confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service. [paragraph 348]

918. The Committee is of the view that it is the efficiency and effectiveness with which this organisation is run in 2007 that is critical to whether the general public can have confidence in the use of fingerprint evidence in the Scottish criminal justice system. [paragraph 349]

919. On the issue of public confidence in fingerprint evidence, it is worth noting that, in light of the controversy that has ensued over the status of mark Y7, it might have been thought that there would have been an upsurge in appeals to criminal convictions predicated on the notion that fingerprint evidence is no longer reliable.  This has not happened. [paragraph 350]

920. Equally, however, the Committee considers that it would be complacent and wrong to dismiss mark Y7 as a one-off.  Accordingly, it was highly relevant for the Committee to look back in time to examine what lessons can be learned from the key events that surrounded the initial identification process in relation to mark Y7 as well as looking at the inquiries, inspections and reports that followed. [paragraph 351]

921. It is clear to the Committee that, at best, the case highlighted inconsistencies in the identification and verification procedures within the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau.  Procedures, in so far as they were written down at all, appear not to have been properly followed or to have been ignored.  Furthermore there appear to have been a number of instances when ad hoc procedures were adopted. [paragraph 352]

Factors cited to explain disagreement among experts on mark Y7

922. The factors cited as being a possible cause of the divergence in views are—

  • Use of a plain impression versus a rolled impression
  • Use of images obtained from the internet
  • Use of a print taken from the Daily Mail

923. The Committee considers that the debate among experts about the effect of these factors in the comparison of mark Y7 and Shirley McKie’s thumbprint has created additional confusion in an already complex case.  However, the Committee is not persuaded, in this case, that these factors were of critical importance to the conclusions drawn by the various fingerprint experts. [paragraph 200]

924. The Committee believes that the interests of justice would be better served if in all cases fingerprint experts adopted a standard approach for their comparison of crime scene marks and fingerprints from a known donor. [paragraph 201]

925. While recognising that it will not be possible in all cases to achieve an absolute consistency in the methodology used by all fingerprint experts, the Committee, nonetheless, considers the following factors are important to achieving a consistency of methodology:

  • examination of images which are as close to the original material as possible;
  • examination of the mark and print in controlled conditions; and
  • transparency in the audit trail for images of both the mark and fingerprint being compared to ensure authenticity. [paragraph 202]

SCRO Fingerprint Bureau Procedures

The procedure used to eliminate mark Y7

926. The Committee finds it disturbing that in 1997 there would appear to have been no agreed procedure or standard for the comparison of a mark with an elimination print in the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau.   In the apparent absence of such documentation, it is not possible for the Committee to give a definitive view on whether Mr Macpherson’s approach was appropriate or not. [paragraph 216]

927. However, once the decision was taken to adopt a 16 point standard for the identification of mark Y7, the Committee considers that it is reasonable and logical to expect that this standard would have then been used by every SCRO fingerprint officer who subsequently examined mark Y7.  The Committee considers that the fact that this did not happen highlights a serious flaw in SCRO’s identification and verification procedures at that time. [paragraph 217]

Initialling of photographs of marks

928. The Committee notes that in initialling the back of the photograph of mark Y7 with her own initials and those of Hugh Macpherson and Charles Stewart, Fiona McBride was using a method for tracking which was not an agreed and documented procedure. [paragraph 238]

929. However, having done so, the Committee questions why Alister Geddes’s initials were not also added to the back of the mark given the fact he too had verified the identification although not to the 16 point standard. [paragraph 239]

930. The Committee is concerned that senior fingerprint officers were content to allow such an ad hoc procedure to be implemented without further consideration or comment. [paragraph 240]

Blind test of mark Y7

931. The Committee is concerned about the implementation of what has been termed a blind test.  The Committee is clear that it was an ad hoc procedure instigated by senior management in the SCRO Bureau in response to pressure from senior Strathclyde Police officers to have mark Y7 re-examined.  The Committee considers the blind test to have been an ill-considered and inappropriate reaction to this pressure by SCRO management. [paragraph 259]

932. The Committee found the evidence presented to the Committee by Hugh Ferry [former Head of SCRO] to be unclear and confusing.  He was unable to confirm whether or not he had authorised the blind test and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, he indicated that he had not been informed of the findings of the test. [paragraph 260]

933. The Committee considers that the instigation of the blind test was without precedent and without any reference to agreed procedures or standards.  Furthermore, it does not appear to the Committee to have been carried out under appropriate conditions.  However, once it had been undertaken, the Committee considers that the full process and conclusions of all the SCRO fingerprint officers should have been disclosed to Strathclyde Police and to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. [paragraph 261]

Cropping of images of mark Y7

934. Cropping concerns the presentation of photographic enlargements of fingerprint evidence for court productions.  In some bureaux, including the SCRO, in order to highlight a specific part of a mark or print, the photograph was cut or cropped to focus on that section.

935. The Committee recognises the concerns expressed by several experts about the cropping of images of mark Y7 for court presentation.  However, in this context the Committee also notes that the practice of cropping was common place. [paragraph 299]

936. However, the Committee considers that the practice of cropping images for court presentation purposes was contrary to principles of disclosure and transparency.  The Committee welcomes the action taken by SCRO to discontinue the practice. [paragraph 300]

Settlement of the civil action raised by Shirley McKie

937. The Committee considered that it was extremely important to understand clearly why the Scottish Executive decided to settle out-of-court the civil action for damages raised by Shirley McKie. 

938. The Committee notes that HMIC, ACPOS, the chief executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority and Scottish Ministers have all accepted that that mark Y7 was misidentified as having been made by Shirley McKie.  The Committee also recognises that John MacLeod, in his first report to the Scottish Executive, concluded that the SCRO fingerprint officers, in reaching their findings on mark Y7, had demonstrated a lack of reasonable care. [paragraph 326]

939. The Committee does not consider that, on the basis of the evidence that it has taken, that there is a basis to say that the SCRO officers had acted maliciously in their identification and verification of mark Y7.  It would appear to the Committee that proving malice may have been challenging for Ms McKie’s lawyers had the action proceeded to proof. [paragraph 327]

940. However, the Committee recognises that the Minister for Justice took account of a range of issues in coming to her decision to settle out of court.  There was a judgement call to be made as to what the result of any court action would have been, including the amount of damages which may have been awarded had Ms McKie been successful in her action. [paragraph 328]

941. At a more basic, human level, the Committee notes that the Minister for Justice was trying to do the right thing for Ms McKie to ensure that she received fair recompense for the loss of her career and the anguish that she had had to endure over the preceding nine years.  The Minister was also concerned about the other individuals involved in the case and about the future of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  The Committee notes that by settling with Ms McKie the Minister wanted all concerned to move on. [paragraph 329]

942. The Committee recognises that with such significant amounts of public money at stake, detailed consideration had to be devoted to whether the action should be defended or settled. Having decided to settle the action, there needed to be detailed negotiation of a fair and appropriate figure.  Some people may consider that the action should have been defended to the end or that the settlement figure was too high a price to pay in the circumstances. [paragraph 330]

943. The Committee considers it very important to note that the settlement was made with no admission of liability on the part of Scottish Ministers. [paragraph 331]

944. Since one of the stated objectives of the Executive was to draw a line under the issue, the Committee is clear in its view that the absence of an agreement for there to be no further comment on mark Y7 following the settlement was a serious omission.  In the absence of such an agreement, it is arguable whether a final settlement should have been reached.  The Committee considers that the Executive should have insisted on the inclusion of an agreement for no further comment to be made.  The Committee considers that such an agreement should have been achievable.[paragraph 332]

SECTION 3: REVIEWS OF THE SCRO FINGERPRINT BUREAU

Background

945. Since 2000, the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in Glasgow and the Scottish Fingerprint Service were the subject of a great number of formal inspections and reviews.  The following reports were examined by the Committee in section 3 of the report—

  • HMIC Primary Inspection of SCRO Fingerprint Bureau 2000 (May 2000)
  • ACPOS Change Management Review Team (October 2000)
  • Mackay inquiry report (synopsis - August 2006) (Original report - October 2000)
  • HMIC Primary Inspection of SCRO 2000 (December 2000)
  • HMIC Second Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection 2000 (2001)
  • HMIC Third Year Review of SCRO 2000 (2003)
  • HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004

946. By considering the key findings, recommendations and action points arising from each of these reports, the Committee was able to build up a picture of the problems facing the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau and the process by which these problems were addressed. [paragraph 356]

947. As a first step, the Committee considered the findings of the HMIC Primary Inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau 2000.  The Committee used this report’s findings as a baseline to assess the extent of the reforms which have taken place since 2000. Since 2000, the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in Glasgow and the wider Scottish Fingerprint Service have been the subject of a series of formal inspections by HMIC.  The Committee considered the key findings, recommendations and action points arising from each of these reports in order to assess whether the recommendations made by HMIC were adequately implemented by SCRO and SFS. [paragraphs 357-358]

Principal conclusions and recommendations

HMIC announcement of emerging findings

948. The Committee has strong concerns that HMIC went to press with emerging findings in the absence of a written report which set these findings in context.  The failure of HMIC to publish an interim report to substantiate the emerging findings prevented elected members and others with a legitimate interest from considering the findings in context and subjecting them to detailed scrutiny at that time. [paragraph 394]

949. The Committee considers that these failings enabled criticism to be levelled that, by taking the approach that he did, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary was primarily acting in response to intense media pressure and a high profile campaign. [paragraph 395]

Conduct of the HMIC inspection

950. The Committee considers that the HMIC inspection of processes and procedures within the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau was extremely detailed and thorough.  The Committee is satisfied that the HMIC inspection highlighted serious operational problems within the Bureau. [paragraph 396]

Proposed structure for fingerprint services in Scotland

951. The Committee notes that the Change Management Review Team’s preferred option was for a centralised service albeit that the CMRT recognised the risks associated with this option.  The Committee further notes that ultimately this option was not pursued and the Scottish Fingerprint Service was established as a centrally managed service but with delivery through local bureaux in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.  This was in line with the short term solution advocated by HMIC. [paragraph 417]

Leadership issues - management turnover

952. The Committee considers that frequent changes in the management regime (that had been identified in the HMIC 2000 report) must have created a lack of continuity and had an unsettling effect thereby contributing to a lack of confidence among staff in the management of the Bureau.  The Committee strongly questions whether the deployment of senior managers (whether serving police officers, who were either on secondment or close to retirement age, or retired police officers) for short periods of tenure was appropriate in an organisation facing operational difficulties, rapid change and intense scrutiny. ACPOS and the incoming Scottish Police Services Authority should reflect on this matter in order to ensure that there exists the necessary level of management continuity in future. [paragraph 431]

953. The Committee also notes the recommendation of the Change Management Review Team that the Head of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau should be a civilian manager with experience as a fingerprint expert or a forensic scientist.  The Committee is aware, however, that although the current Head of the Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau/Head of SFS has considerable management experience, he does not have a background in either fingerprint services or forensic science. [paragraph 432]

Sickness absence and staff welfare

954. The Committee notes the concerns raised by HMIC in 2000 about the rate and management of sickness absence in the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau and support structures for staff more generally.  The failure of the organisation to monitor sickness absence levels in order to manage the situation was a glaring example of management failure at that time.  The Committee considers that the response of the Change Management Review Team to HMIC’s concerns was worryingly inadequate. [paragraph 456]

Court presentation skills

955. The findings of HMIC and the Change Management Review Team, along with the comments of James Mackay, strongly suggest to the Committee that the general standard of court presentation displayed by SCRO fingerprint officers had been lacking.  The Committee notes that HMIC found that SCRO staff acknowledged that there was room for improvement in their presentation skills.  The Committee also notes that officers’ ability to present their findings in court may have been hampered by the poor quality of the enlarged images produced using the charting PC. [paragraph 489]

956. The Committee considers that poor court presentation skills were principally the result of inadequate training for, and limited experience of, officers facing cross-examination, in particular hostile questioning. [paragraph 490]

Processes and quality assurance - written procedures and guidance in 1997

957. The Committee is concerned at the contradictory evidence it has received in relation to the existence of written procedures in 1997.  Although ten years have passed and SCRO is not obliged to retain documents which have been superseded during that period, the Committee is surprised that no evidence of documented procedures from that time could be provided.  In the absence of any such material, the Committee can make no further comment on written procedures in 1997. [paragraph 497]

The process of fingerprint identification

958. The Committee notes that in 2000, HMIC was satisfied that the reduced number of fingerprint officers required to verify an identification in Glasgow was consistent with other UK bureaux.  [paragraph 514]

959. The Committee is concerned that elimination identifications appear to have required a significantly lower degree of verification and, potentially, a lower standard of identification. [paragraph 515]

Elimination process

960. In light of the controversy surrounding mark Y7, which was identified as part of an elimination process, the Committee is concerned that HMIC did not consider this matter more closely.  HMIC’s Primary Inspection report of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000 contained no specific recommendation or suggestion regarding verification of elimination identifications. [paragraph 525]

Central record of misidentifications

961. The Committee is concerned that there was no central record of misidentifications or disputed identifications within the SCRO Bureau in 2000. [paragraph 540]

HMIC Second Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000

962. The Committee is alarmed that HMIC did not re-visit the issues identified in the inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000 as part of its review inspection in 2001 despite the clear commitment to do so in December 2000. [paragraph 598]

HMIC Primary Inspection report 2004

963. The Committee notes the findings of the HMIC Primary Inspection of SCRO 2004, and in particular the discharge of the remaining recommendations and suggestions from the Primary Inspection of the Fingerprint Bureau in 2000. [paragraph 645]

Committee conclusions on the reviews of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau

964. Considering the conclusions of the HMIC Primary Inspection of SCRO in 2004, which discharged the remaining recommendations and suggestions made in 2000, it would appear that there had been a remarkable turnaround in all aspects of the operation of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau.  The Committee considers that this degree of organisational change [culminating in the creation of the national Scottish Fingerprint Service] coupled with formal independent scrutiny by HMIC should have, by itself, been sufficient to restore fingerprint services in Scotland to a state of efficiency and effectiveness. [paragraph 650]

965. However, from the evidence presented during the course of the inquiry, it is evident to the Committee that there remains a continuing sense of crisis within the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  Although this appears to be principally generated by the continuing dispute around the McKie case, the Committee considers that its root causes still lie in weaknesses in management, processes and human resources. [paragraph 651]

section 4: THE FUTURE OF THE SCOTTISH FINGERPRINT SERVICE

966. Having considered the implications of the McKie case and the unparalleled degree of change to fingerprint services in Scotland since 2000, the Committee turned its consideration to the future of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

Action Plan for Excellence

967. Media and public reaction following the settlement in February 2006 of the civil action brought by Shirley McKie against Scottish Ministers prompted the Minister for Justice, Cathy Jamieson MSP, to announce further reform to the SFS.  On 22 February 2006, in a statement to the Parliament, the Minister announced that she had instructed the then interim chief executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority, Deputy Chief Constable David Mulhern, to bring forward by the end of March 2006 an action plan to develop the Scottish Fingerprint Service as an integrated part of the new Scottish Forensic Science Service (SFSS) from April 2007.

968. The Committee has scrutinised the Action Plan for Excellence in order to assess whether it is likely to achieve its principal objective, “to ensure that the Scottish Fingerprint Service adheres to the best possible international standards and is a recognised centre of excellence in its field.”

The O’Dowd Report

969. In order to give an informed and impartial assessment of the discharge of the various recommendations and suggestions made by HMIC in its inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000, Sir David O’Dowd, former HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, was asked to re-visit HMIC’s 25 recommendations and 20 suggestions and to provide a current assessment of the position and to evaluate the changes already introduced in the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

970. The O’Dowd Report revealed to the Committee significant weaknesses in the HMIC inspections of SCRO subsequent to its inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000. 

971. The Committee considers it likely that the issues which were identified by Sir David O’Dowd in 2006 are problems which have persisted since they were first identified by HMIC in the Primary Inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000. [paragraph 699]

972. The Committee concludes that a number of important HMIC recommendations were clearly discharged prematurely.  Sir David’s review would appear to call into question the diligence with which HMIC carried out its inspections following the HMIC Primary Inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000. [paragraph 700]

973. Accordingly, the Committee recommends that HMIC should conduct an internal review of its inspections of SCRO subsequent to the HMIC Primary Inspection of the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau in 2000, in order to consider the lessons to be learned for future inspection procedures. [paragraph 701]

974. The Committee also concludes that a number of failings identified by HMIC in 2000 have simply not been properly addressed by SCRO management.  These failings include, but are not limited to: structural issues; leadership and management; human resources; procedures; and quality assurance.  The Committee recognises that the Action Plan for Excellence is the latest proposal which seeks to tackle these failings. [paragraph 702]

Key conclusions and recommendations

975. The Committee considers that its key conclusions and recommendations which are intended to contribute to the future reform and development of the Scottish Fingerprint Service can be grouped under five principle headings—

  • Structure of fingerprint services in Scotland
  • Leadership and management
  • Human resources
  • Procedures
  • Quality Assurance

Structure of fingerprint services in Scotland

976. The Committee questions the discharge in 2003 of the HMIC recommendation that a centralised model for a national fingerprint service be considered.  Although practical considerations had resulted in the establishment of the current four bureaux model, HMIC failed to carry out an assessment of whether this model would deliver an efficient and effective fingerprint service for Scotland.  Only one year later, in 2004, HMIC (now led by a new HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Andrew Brown) found that there were significant integration issues in the SFS. [paragraph 678]

Integration of the Scottish Fingerprint Service and the Scottish Forensic Science Service

977. The Scottish Fingerprint Service will become part of a new Scottish Forensic Science Service which will become operational from 1 April 2007.  It will comprise the four police forensic laboratories and four fingerprint bureaux.

978. The Committee is concerned by the relatively short timescale for the planned integration of the Scottish Fingerprint Service within the Scottish Forensic Science Service when it is clear that the SFS has yet to achieve full integration of the four fingerprint bureaux into a genuinely national service.[paragraph 736] 

979. The Committee considers that further structural change will not, by itself, address the integration issues which continue to afflict the SFS. The Committee believes that it is vital that David Mulhern and SFS senior management set out clearly to all SFS staff the practical benefits which they believe will accrue from the merger between the SFS and the forensic laboratories. The objective should be to secure the buy-in of staff to the plans for the merger.[paragraph 737]

Leadership and management

980. The Committee is most concerned at the extent of the integration difficulties identified by Sir David O’Dowd and in particular Sir David’s comment that there is the potential for the service to become “dysfunctional”.  This appears to be damning criticism of how the SFS has been managed in the years in which it has been in existence.  [paragraph 679]

Current management structure of the SCRO and SFS

981. The Committee notes, with some concern the extremely short tenure of the last Director of SCRO, Mr John McLean, who served only 13 months in post before leaving the organisation in May 2006. [paragraph 740]

Interim strategic management arrangements of the SFS

982. The Committee considers it vital that, as an early action, the new Director of the Scottish Forensic Science Service, Tom Nelson, should review the management structures in place across the Scottish Fingerprint Service and specifically address the issue of succession planning to ensure continuity and stability in the senior management structure – this is an issue which the Committee considers to have been a long-running area of weakness. [paragraph 744]

Leadership issues

983. The Committee recommends that as part of succession planning, the Director of the Scottish Forensic Science Service reviews the skills and attributes required by the Head of Service and the heads of each of the fingerprint bureaux including consideration of whether experience as a fingerprint expert or a forensic scientist would be advantageous in these roles. [paragraph 753]

Human resources

Scottish Fingerprint Service Employee Consultation Report – the ‘ICAS Report’

984. In response to a dramatic increase in sickness absence in the Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau in February 2006, senior management at the Scottish Criminal Records Office were anxious about the impact on staff and, with the additional pressure of imminent restructuring, managers decided to consult with staff on how best to support them in the current situation and in moving forward.  The firm chosen to carry out the consultation was Independent Counselling and Advisory Services Limited (ICAS).

985. The Committee considers the ICAS Report to be an important barometer of staff morale, health and well-being at a time of extensive impending change within SFS.  Worryingly, the report revealed an organisation still riven by inter-bureaux disputes over the McKie case and a deep division between management and staff.  The Committee considers that SFS senior management must tackle the issues raised by staff as a matter of urgency if the organisation is to move forward. [paragraph 716]

Fingerprint bureaux staffing issues

986. The Committee notes with some concern that the Dundee and Edinburgh Bureaux remain below establishment level and it is not anticipated that they will reach the full complement of fingerprint experts until 2010.  The Committee is also concerned that the ratio of trainees to experts in Aberdeen is considerably higher than recommended.  The Committee supports the decision taken by David Mulhern to seek to recruit a qualified expert from outside Scotland to augment the staff of the Aberdeen Bureau. [paragraph 761]

987. In light of the fact that the Dundee and Edinburgh Bureaux also remain below establishment levels and given the length of time required to train fingerprint experts, the Committee recommends that SFS management consider opening a recruitment exercise in order to fill existing vacancies in Dundee and Edinburgh. [paragraph 762]

Staff support and attendance policy

988. The Committee has serious concerns about the exceptionally high rate of sickness absence among staff in the Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau.  Evidence received by the Committee suggests that although levels have fluctuated, this has been a continuous problem since the mid-1990s.  The Committee is shocked that this situation has been allowed to continue for so long without being addressed by management.  The Committee considers this to be completely unacceptable. [paragraph 767]

989. The Committee believes that the combination of constant workload pressures exacerbated by insufficient resources, ineffective management and leadership and an almost constant level of intense external scrutiny has been the root cause of the historically high sickness absence rates in the Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau. [paragraph 768]

990. In this context, the Committee considers it unacceptable that SCRO management persistently failed over many years to treat this problem with the degree of seriousness it has so clearly required.  It was not until 2006 that the initiative was taken to involve an external agency to assess the underlying issues by consulting staff.  The Committee welcomes the fact that SCRO management finally took this step in response to the problem of sickness absence and recommends that this consultation with staff continue during the course of the merger of the SFS with the Forensic Science Service and beyond. [paragraph 769]

991. The Committee notes the intention to introduce a new attendance management policy for the Scottish Police Services Authority as a whole.  The Committee considers that in order to address the persistent problem of sickness absence in the SFS Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau, this policy will need to be carefully and sensitively managed particularly during the introductory phase if it is to succeed. [paragraph 770]

992. To this end, the Committee also considers that it would be beneficial if a mechanism can be found which allows truly anonymised feedback from the safeline and counselling service to be given to SFS management on a regular basis to ensure that they are kept aware of key issues of concern to the staff. [paragraph 771]

Training and professional development

993. The Committee notes the significantly increased commitment given by the SFS to training of fingerprint officers including their continuing professional development.  The Committee supports the formal evaluation of this training and development to ensure that it meets the future needs of the service. [paragraph 778]

994. The Committee welcomes Mr Mulhern’s intention to provide opportunities for SFS fingerprint officers to develop their careers, and the commitment to staff development which the CPD Programme and associated training represents. [paragraph 779]

Court presentation skills training

995. The Committee notes the commitment made by the Crown Office to assist with training provision as long ago as 1999 at the time of the Change Management Review Team review.  It is, therefore, a matter of concern that this does not appear to have happened in practice. [paragraph 785]

996. The Committee is of the opinion that further work may be required in order to ensure that fingerprint officers are properly prepared to give evidence under the new non-numeric standard.  The Committee welcomes the most recent offer made by the Crown Office to assist in this process and recommends that the SFS urgently considers how theCrown Office input can best be made use of as part of a revised training programme for experts. [paragraph 786]

Procedures

Introduction of the non numeric standard

997. The Committee considers that there existed a clear consensus among fingerprint experts and other professionals in the Scottish criminal justice system that the time was right to move to the non-numeric standard. [paragraph 798]

998. The Committee considers that it was vital that the introduction of the non-numeric standard was underpinned by a new approach to training and competency testing for fingerprint experts in order to change the process by which marks are examined and identified.  The Committee welcomes the change and recognises the extent of preparation made by the SFS and other stakeholders prior to introduction. [paragraph 799]

Identification procedures

999. The Committee shares Sir David O’Dowd’s concerns that there is still no common standard for fingerprint identification and verification in operation across the SFS.  The Committee is particularly concerned that in 2003 HMIC considered that its recommendation to increase independence in the process could be discharged while simultaneously stating that the SFS was still working towards a solution. [paragraph 691]

1000. The O’Dowd Report made clear that despite the creation of a national procedures manual, there remained differences in the identification and verification processes implemented in different bureaux. 

1001. The Committee supports the review of identification and verification processes.  The Committee recommends that consistent processes should be implemented in all four SFS bureaux. [paragraph 806]

1002. The Committee also recommends that the processes utilised by the SFS should form part of a regular benchmarking exercise with fingerprint bureaux outside Scotland in order to ensure that the SFS remains at the leading edge of fingerprint identification. [paragraph 807]

Elimination procedures

1003. The Committee considers that absolute clarity regarding elimination procedures is vital if confidence in fingerprint services in Scotland is to be restored.  The Committee, therefore, calls upon the Scottish Fingerprint Service to put on record the current procedure under the non-numeric standard for identification and verification of elimination marks and to put on record whether this differs from the identification and verification procedure for suspect marks. [paragraph 812]

Transparency of identification procedures

1004. The Committee notes that, since 2000, the SFS has reviewed its entire operating practice, procedures and training.  These are now underpinned by a series of manuals and policies which the SFS has published on its website.

Procedures for dealing with disputed identifications

1005. During the course of this inquiry the Committee has been made aware of a number of other identifications made by fingerprint officers from the SCRO/Glasgow Fingerprint Bureau which have been the subject of challenges from external sources.  In January 2007, David Mulhern provided the Committee with information on three cases which have occurred since 2000 where an identification made by other SCRO officers had been subject to challenge.

1006. It would appear to the Committee that the SFS has no common procedures or even common terminology for dealing with disputes over identifications between fingerprint officers.  As a single national service in existence for nearly five years, the SFS should by now have established consistent procedures for resolving disputes.  The Committee considers this to be an extremely serious omission. [paragraph 827]

1007. The second progress report on the Action Plan states that there remained a need to review and consolidate the Quality Procedures manual.  The Committee considers that the issue is far more fundamental than mere consolidation.  The SFS needs to establish a common dispute resolution procedure (including the use of common terminology) for all four bureaux.  This needs to be documented and implemented as a matter of utmost urgency. [paragraph 828]

1008. The Committee does not believe that the SFS can claim to offer a unified national service until it has established common procedures, standards, training and terminology. [paragraph 829]

1009. The Committee is concerned by the circumstances of two cases referred to by David Mulhern as ‘disputed identifications’ or ‘significant variations’.  Although both cases had resulted in an initial identification not ultimately being used as evidence in court, both had been communicated by the SFS as confirmed identifications to the Procurator Fiscal before doubts about the reliability of the identifications were expressed.  The Committee considers examples such as these should be treated very seriously by the SFS and examined to establish whether there was any failure in the procedures implemented by the respective fingerprint officers and what lessons can be learned for the future. [paragraph 834]

Strategy for responding to challenges to identifications from external sources

1010. The Committee welcomes the steps taken by Mr Mulhern to establish such a strategy. The Committee considers it essential that there should be robust and defined processes to deal with external challenges which would give the staff confidence in exercising their professional expertise in difficult cases. The Committee therefore believes that the new strategy should be inserted into the Action Plan; and furthermore, recommends that the SFS puts in place a standing arrangement for an independent fingerprint bureau outside Scotland to carry out an independent verification of any disputed identification made by the SFS. [paragraph 840]

1011. The Committee considers it important that any such verifications need to be carried out using procedures which are common to those used by the SFS.  As important, the Committee considers that it is vital that the terminology used is the same as that used by SFS.  By adopting this type of approach, the Committee considers that the potential for confusion and controversy over the outcome of an independent verification will be much reduced. [paragraphs 841]

Quality assurance

1012. The Committee has serious concerns about the effectiveness of the quality assurance systems of the SFS, particularly given the fact that the training and quality assurance officer roles have yet to be separated in the three smaller bureaux.  The Committee considers that SCRO and SFS management failed to treat this HMIC recommendation from 2000 with the degree of importance it clearly deserved. [paragraph 695]

1013. The Committee is also very concerned that in 2003 HMIC saw fit to discharge this recommendation when this had not yet been achieved in all SFS bureaux.  If there were practical difficulties in implementing the HMIC recommendation, the Committee considers that rather than simply discharging it, the correct action would have been for HMIC and SFS management to work together to produce a solution which was workable but still addressed the core problem which had been identified by HMIC. [paragraph 696]

Quality assurance - ISO accreditation

1014. The Committee notes that the establishment of quality assurance standards accredited to ISO 9001 within the SFS may not, in fact, provide the level of assurance attributed to it.  ISO 9001 accreditation provides guarantees that processes are being complied with but does not guarantee the outcome from those processes. [paragraph 850]

1015. The Committee, therefore, considers that SFS needs to regularly benchmark its fingerprint identification procedures with fingerprint bureaux outside Scotland to ensure that they are fit for purpose.[paragraph 851]

1016. With the impending merger of the forensic laboratories with the fingerprint service, the Committee considers that there exists the potential for a clash of quality standards regimes which will be applied within the integrated Scottish Forensic Science Service. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Forensic Science Service reviews the quality assurance systems to be implemented by both the forensic laboratories and fingerprint bureaux in order to ensure compatibility. [paragraph 852]

Strengthening the Action Plan for Excellence

1017. From its scrutiny of the Action Plan for Excellence and other evidence it has received, the Committee believes that the issues it has identified above present serious risks to the successful reform and future development of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  The Committee considers that the Action Plan, as it stands presently, could potentially fall short in some important areas. [paragraph 854]

1018. The Committee acknowledges that significant progress has been made towards implementation of the Action Plan.  However, the Committee remains concerned that the Action Plan is short on detail.  The Committee acknowledges that the Plan was originally produced in a relatively short timescale but considers that in its current form it does not represent a robust basis against which to measure the future development of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  The Committee recommends that the Action Plan be revised and strengthened to incorporate ‘SMART’522 objectives which allow progress to be objectively monitored and assessed over a two year period from 1 April 2007. [paragraph 858]

Barriers to successful implementation of the Action Plan for Excellence 

1019. Given the history of the last ten years, the Committee considers that there must be a danger that the recommendations contained in the Action Plan for Excellence are not fully implemented.  The Committee considers that the SFS management needs to be alert to possible barriers which may prevent or act against the successful implementation of the Action Plan.  Two such obstacles are considered in more detail below. [paragraph 858]

Merger of fingerprint services with the forensic laboratories

1020. The Committee supports the forthcoming merger between the SFS and the forensic laboratories to create the Scottish Forensic Science Service.  However, this merger should not be seen as a panacea. [paragraph 864]

1021. Given the extent of the integration issues that are still to be resolved by the SFS, the Committee considers that there is a danger that the merger could even be counterproductive –  potentially exacerbating the existing problems within the SFS – rather than generating momentum for further reform and improvement.  There must be a danger that if people’s energies are concentrated on driving through the merger then focus will be lost on addressing the existing areas of weakness within the fingerprint service.  It is imperative that this does not happen. [paragraph 865]

1022. The Committee considers, therefore, that the Scottish Police Services Authority must be alert to the risks that the merger process may present to maintaining the momentum in the reform and development of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  The Committee considers that the SPSA must exercise particular care to ensure that these risks do not materialise. [paragraph 866]

Staff resistance to change

1023. The Committee is in no doubt that communication and relationships between senior management and staff within the SFS have been ineffective in the past.  The Committee acknowledges that relations have been strained as a result of various actions and statements by staff and management surrounding the McKie case and the response of senior management to these.  The Committee is concerned that a culture of ‘them and us’ has become entrenched within the organisation, a culture which SFS management has not yet tackled effectively. [paragraph 874]

1024. The Committee welcomes the commitment in the Action Plan to improve communication so as to develop a team-based culture.  The Committee supports the initial steps taken by Mr Mulhern to foster this approach.  However, the Committee does not believe that the culture of the organisation will be transformed through the production of strategies and plans alone, but rather through concerted efforts of managers to communicate and engage and engage more effectively with staff on a day-to-day basis.  The Committee urges SFS management to address this issue as a matter of the highest priority. [paragraph 875]

The future of the Scottish Fingerprint Service

1025. The Committee’s view is that the general public would expect that the existence of a Scottish Fingerprint Service would mean that there is a national service and all that that entails in terms of commonality of approach; national standards; and a sense of mutual co-operation and respect across the bureaux which together make up the SFS. [paragraph 880]

1026. At the end of its inquiry, the Committee still has major doubts as to whether today’s SFS can truly be recognised as being a national service. The Committee recognises the disparity in size between Glasgow and the other three bureaux and the difficulties that this may have caused.  But, the Committee simply does not believe that this is an adequate explanation for the problems which have bedevilled the SFS since its inception. [paragraph 881]

1027. The Committee understands and shares the desire of the Minister for Justice to restore public confidence in the work of the Scottish Fingerprint Service and for it to be acknowledged as being world class through demonstrating “independent oversight, scientific excellence and transparent adherence to standards.”523 [paragraph 884]

1028. It is clear that the Scottish Fingerprint Service still faces considerable challenges if it is to become a ‘recognised centre of excellence in its field’ as everyone would wish it to be. [paragraph 885]

1029. The Committee supports the measures contained in the Action Plan for Excellence and welcomes the progress towards its implementation.  The Committee has also recommended several measures which it considers will further strengthen the Plan.  In particular, the Committee recommends that the Action Plan be revised and strengthened to incorporate ‘SMART’ objectives which allow progress to be objectively monitored and assessed over a two year period from 1 April 2007.  On this basis, the Committee considers that the Action Plan provides a strong platform for the development of the Scottish Fingerprint Service at a crucial point in its existence. [paragraph 886]

1030. The Committee believes that SFS senior management has, in the past, consistently failed to recognise the size of the task it faces in securing meaningful reform of the organisation.  The Committee considers that it must seize this opportunity to tackle the underlying problems within the service.  It is imperative that urgent action is taken to bridge the gap between management and staff, heal the rift between Glasgow and the other bureaux and learn the lessons of the McKie case to ensure that it will not be repeated. [paragraph 887]

1031. If such change is to be truly meaningful it is vital that all management and staff of the SFS accept that there are lessons to be learned from the McKie case. The Committee considers that management must take action to address fundamental weaknesses which have seriously impaired the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.  With this acceptance, the Committee believes that the Scottish Fingerprint Service can finally move on. [paragraph 888]

COMMONLY USED ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

ACRONYMS

Note – All acronyms are fully explained when first mentioned in the text of the Report.  This list is provided for ease of reference.  Some terms contained here are explained further in the glossary below.

8FSG – Eight Force Standard Working Group

ACPOS – Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland

AFR – Automatic Fingerprint Recognition

APRG – ACPOS Presidential Review Group (also referred to as ACPOS Presidential Review Team (APRT))

COSLA – Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

COPFS – Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

CMRT – Change Management Review Team

CRFP – Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners

NAFIS - National Automated Fingerprint Identification System

HMIC – Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland

HMCIC – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland

ICAS – Independent Counselling and Advisory Services Ltd.

ISO – International Organisation for Standardisation

SCDEA – Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency

SCRO – Scottish Criminal Record Office

SFS – Scottish Fingerprint Service

SFSS – Scottish Forensic Science Service

SFSWG – Scottish Fingerprint Service Working Group

SPSA – Scottish Police Services Authority

GLOSSARY

16 point standard

Standard for identification of marks (see entry below) used by fingerprint bureaux in Scotland until 4 September 2006.  In examining an unknown mark, a fingerprint expert was required to find 16 points of similarity in sequence and agreement with a known fingerprint in order to make a positive identification for court purposes.

Automatic fingerprint recognition (AFR)

A computerised system used by Scottish fingerprint bureaux since 1991 to assist in the searching of fingerprints to confirm identity or scene of crime marks to trace offenders.  The database consists of the fingerprints of all convicted persons throughout Scotland.

Blind trial (or test)

In the field of fingerprint identification, a blind trial consists of a case being submitted to a bureau as if it were genuine for the purpose of testing the procedures applied and the quality and accuracy of the processes involved.

Case envelope

A customised A5 envelope in which fingerprint case material is stored following receipt in a fingerprint bureau.  The reference number, force concerned, the locus and the date received are entered on the front of the case envelope.

Comparator

An electronic enlarging device.  This machine puts enlargements of both the mark and the print being compared on a split screen and points may be physically marked on the screen.

Comparison print

A fingerprint impression taken from a known individual which is used to compare against an unknown mark.

Core

The approximate centre of a fingerprint pattern (e.g. loop or whorl)

Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP)

The CRFP is a professional regulatory body.  Its central function is to prepare and manage a register of currently competent forensic practitioners including fingerprint experts.

Cropping

The reduction in the size of a photograph to focus in on specific elements and to remove unnecessary elements.  This process was used by fingerprint officers in the preparation of enlarged images for court presentation purposes.

Elimination prints

Fingerprints taken from a known individual used to identify crime scene marks left by people with legitimate access to a place or object in order to ‘eliminate’ such marks from an inquiry.

Fingerprint form

A paper form used to capture both plain and rolled inked impressions of a person’s fingerprints (see also entries for plain impression and rolled impression below).

Friction ridge

A raised portion of the epidermis on the skin of the hands or feet, consisting of one or more connected ridge units of friction ridge skin.

ISO 9002

Part of a family of standards and guidelines for quality in the manufacturing and service industries from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). ISO 9002 covered production, installation and service.  It has been superseded by ISO 9001:2000.

ISO 9001:2000

A revised standard for quality assurance systems which integrated and replaced the previous ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 standards.

Latent print

A generic term for a fingerprint that is not apparent to the eye but can be made sufficiently visible by various means, including dusting, for use in identification.

Livescan

Livescan is a system for the capture of fingerprint and palm images without ink using an electro-optical computerised device.

Marks

The impressions left, often accidentally, at crime scenes or on objects associated with crimes.  Also referred to as scene of crime marks.

National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS)

The National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS), used by all police forces in England and Wales, assists with the identification of fingerprints and the electronic storage of fingerprint sets.

Non-numeric standard

A standard for fingerprint identification which does not require a specific number of characteristics to be found before an identification can be presented as evidence in court.  The non-numeric standard was adopted by the Scottish Fingerprint Service on 4 September 2006.

Plain impression

A fingerprint impression taken from a known individual using ink (or via electronic scanning - see Livescan) which captures the pattern of friction ridges on the main surface of each finger.  As the finger is simply placed on the fingerprint form, ridge details on the sides of the finger are not captured (see also rolled impression).

Ridge

See friction ridge above

Ridge characteristics

Features of the friction ridges.  Also referred to as details, points, minutiae or features.  Common types of characteristics include:

  • Ridge ending (or ending ridge)
  • Fork or bifurcation
  • Island
  • Dot
  • Short ridge

Rolled impression

A fingerprint impression taken from a known individual using ink (or via electronic scanning - see Livescan) which captures the pattern of friction ridges on the main surface and sides of each finger.  Each finger is rolled from one side to the other on the fingerprint form thus capturing ridge details on the sides of each finger (see also plain impression).

Rosetta characteristic

A characteristic (bifurcation) discovered by John Berry in mark Y7 which he used to reach his conclusion that the mark had been made by the left thumb of Shirley McKie. 

Tenprints

The rolled impressions of finger and palm prints taken under controlled conditions, normally at a police station.

ANNEXE A: HMIC PRIMARY INSPECTION 2000: SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Scottish Criminal Record Office: The Fingerprint Bureau – HMIC Primary Inspection 2000 - Recommendations

Recommendation Discharge of recommendation
Recommendation 1 HMIC recommends that the SCRO oversight management structure be reformed as part of repositioning SCRO within a new Common Police Services arrangement. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 2 HMIC recommends that the post and role of quality assurance officer and training officer be separated. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 3 HMIC recommends that a centralised model for a national fingerprint service be considered. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 4 HMIC recommends that the ACPOS Presidential Review Team (APRT) scope the demands now and into the near future to determine the staff levels required. This exercise should include maximising the value that fingerprint evidence has for the prevention and detection of crime and take full account of available and emerging technological advances. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 5 HMIC supports the move towards a competency-based standard for expert qualification and recommends early progress towards this goal. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 6 HMIC recommends that the concept of "authorisation" needs further consideration. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 7 HMIC recommends that a protocol is agreed between SCRO and forces to ensure that due consideration is given during the planning stages of operations and initiatives, to managing the impact these can have on SCRO. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 8 HMIC recommends a review of current locations of Automatic Fingerprint Recognition (AFR) terminals in Scotland with a view to securing improved access. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 9 HMIC recommends that action is taken to secure data which informs management of sickness absence levels in a manner which can be used to monitor trends, set targets and manage sickness absence. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 10 HMIC recommends that a strategy is introduced for staff within all fingerprint bureaux and identification branches to offer staff support and to assist in the detection and prevention of stress related illness resulting in absence from work. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 11 HMIC repeats the recommendation made by consultants in June 1999 that an improved automated system of case tracking should be introduced as part of a new office management system at SCRO. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 12 HMIC recommends the production of a national Guidance Manual on Fingerprint Standards and Procedures to be issued to all fingerprint staff. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 13 HMIC recommends the establishment of a national policy, which encapsulates an independent review process to deal with all erroneous and disputed fingerprint identifications.   Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 14 HMIC recommends that the external provision and management of competency testing for experts is an aspect that the APRT needs to pursue with vigour to seek an early, sustainable and defensible programme. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 15 HMIC recommends that managing the change to a non-numeric standard should be addressed at a very early point by the APRT. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 16 HMIC recommends that the important area of court presentation skills be given a new impetus. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 17 HMIC recommends that regular refresher training should be incorporated into a national training standard for fingerprint experts to ensure that expertise is maintained at the highest level taking account of developments in theory and technology. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 18 HMIC recommends that a specific effort be made to bring the weeding up to date. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 19 HMIC recommends that all fingerprint experts within the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau should undergo competency testing provided and managed by an external provider as soon as possible. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 20 HMIC recommends that a common procedure, subject to validation by an external body, be put in place in all fingerprint bureaux to deal with failure in the course of competency testing. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 21 HMIC recommends that a review is undertaken of the current authorisation process with a view to establishing a competency based qualification for expert status. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 22 HMIC recommends that the APRT give early attention to establishing a corporate identify for SCRO. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000.
Recommendation 23 HMIC recommends that practices be reviewed with a view to introducing a system, which increases the independence within the identification/verification process. HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004
Recommendation 24 HMIC recommends that the SCRO fingerprint bureau liaise with the ACPOS working group on ECHR particularly in relation to its development of a manual on standards and procedures. Third Year Review of SCRO Primary Inspection of 2000
Recommendation 25 HMIC recommends that the APRT look closely at the development of the National Council for Registration of Forensic Practitioners and give consideration as to how Scotland can capitalise on this new council HMIC SCRO Primary Inspection 2004

ANNEXE b: Scottish criminal record office – ORGANISATIONAL CHARTS

On 8 June the Convener of the Justice 1 Committee wrote to David Mulhern to request additional information for the purposes of the Committee’s inquiry, specifically a series of organograms showing the management structure of the SCRO’s fingerprint services from 1997 to the present day.  As Mr Mulhern is currently abroad, I am forwarding the information on his behalf.

The enclosed series of 7 organograms chart the changes to key personnel and significant organisational changes since 1997.  While those from 2001 onwards are thought to be accurate, those pre-dating this have been produced from a range of information sources and reflect the best understanding of current staff about the situation in the past.  (The changes on each chart are highlighted in red, with PFPO standing for Principal Fingerprint Officer and SFPO standing for Senior Fingerprint Officer.)

I hope this is what the Convener was looking for.  If there are any further requirements please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, or with Mr Mulhern when he returns.

Scottish Executive Justice Department

Organogram files in chronological order [PDF]

ANNEXE C - EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

6th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 22 February 2006

Also in attendance were Alex Neil, Margo MacDonald and Kenneth Macintosh.

Scottish Criminal Record Office: The Committee considered the impact of recent events on the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to write to the Scottish Executive for further information.

8th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 15 March 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office: The Committee considered correspondence received from the Minister for Justice and agreed to consider this matter further at its next meeting.

9th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 22 March 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office:  The Committee agreed (by division: For 4, Against 3, Abstentions 0) the following remit for an inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and the Scottish Fingerprint Service—

To consider the efficient running of the Scottish Criminal Record Office and Scottish Fingerprint Service (this would leave terms of reference flexible enough to look at past and present practice); the implications of the McKie case; the operation of SCRO and within that the fingerprint service and public confidence in the standards of fingerprint evidence in Scotland; to scrutinise the implementation of recommendations of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary primary inspection report of 2000 and to ensure that their service is efficient and effective; and to scrutinise the Action Plan announced by the Minister for Justice for improvements in fingerprint and forensics services in Scotland.

Oral evidence is to be taken from any person or body the Committee deems relevant to complete the remit.

The Committee also agreed that it would issue a call for written evidence inviting submissions from interested individuals and organisations and, at its next meeting, to give preliminary consideration to the timetable for the inquiry and potential witnesses who might be invited to give oral evidence at its next meeting.

10th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 29 March 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry:  The Committee considered its approach to the inquiry. The Committee agreed its call for evidence; agreed its approach to the first evidence-taking session on 26 April; agreed to consider who else it wishes to invite to give oral evidence following the receipt of written evidence; agreed it wishes to undertake a fact-finding visit to the Scottish Criminal Record Office in Glasgow; agreed to seek permission to appoint an adviser; and also agreed to write to the Minister for Justice on various issues.

12th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 26 April 2006

In attendance was Alex Neil.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Deputy Chief Constable David Mulhern, interim Chief Executive, Scottish Police Services Authority; John McLean, Director, Scottish Criminal Record Office; Ewan Innes, Head of the Scottish Fingerprint Service; and Joanne Tierney, Training Manager, Scottish Fingerprint Service

and then from—

Bruce Grant, Head of Counter Terrorism Forensic Services, Metropolitan Police; Arie Zeelenberg, Senior Advisor Fingerprints, Dutch National Police Force; and Danny Greathouse, Department of Homeland Security, USA

and then from—

Chief Constable Peter Wilson, President; and Chief Constable Ian Latimer, Vice President, Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

14th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Thursday 4 May 2006 

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee agreed a list of witnesses to take evidence from on the inquiry. In addition, the Committee also agreed to publish a report of the written evidence received in response to its call for evidence on the inquiry.

17th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 23 May 2006

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 4 and 5 in private. The Committee also agreed to consider the main themes arising from the oral evidence sessions on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office in private, at future meetings, in order to inform the drafting of its report.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Shirley McKie, Iain McKie and Andrew Smith QC

and then from

Hugh Ferry, Former Head of the Scottish Criminal Record Office.

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee agreed to delegate to the Convener responsibility for arranging for the SPCB to pay under Rule 12.4.3, any expenses of witnesses in relation to the inquiry.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered whether to accept written evidence received after the deadline for submission of written evidence. The Committee agreed to write to the author of the submission seeking further information, and will consider his response at its next meeting.

5. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry, in order to inform the drafting of its report

19th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 30 May 2006 

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 3 and 4 in private.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Hugh Macpherson, Principal Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office Fiona McBride, Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office, Anthony McKenna, Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office and Charles Stewart, Principal Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to accept a written submission received after the deadline for receipt of written evidence.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the remainder of its inquiry. The Committee agreed to request the ‘Black Report’ from Strathclyde Joint Police Board and to invite written evidence from the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland. The Committee agreed to defer consideration of other matters to a future meeting.

5. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry to a future meeting.

21st Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Thursday 1 June 2006

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take item 2 in private. The Committee also agreed to take item 3 in private, however, in so doing, the Committee agreed to return to public session to record its decisions in relation to item 3.

The Committee moved into private at 1.23 pm.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to accept a written submission received after the deadline for receipt of written evidence.

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the remainder of its inquiry.

The Committee returned to public session at 2.04 pm.

Stewart Stevenson moved the following motions—

4. Motion without Notice: Stewart Stevenson, moved without notice that S2M-04485 be taken at this meeting of the Justice 1 Committee.

And

5. Motion without Notice: Stewart Stevenson, moved without notice that S2M-04486 be taken at this meeting of the Justice 1 Committee.

The motions were agreed to.

6. Motion: Stewart Stevenson moved S2M-04485—That the Justice 1 Committee resolves that the Lord Advocate should deliver to the Committee the report as authored by James Mackay in the matter of the Scottish Criminal Record Office Fingerprint Bureau.

7. Motion: Stewart Stevenson moved S2M-04486—That the Justice 1 Committee resolves that the Minister for Justice should deliver to the Committee two reports authored by John MacLeod and a further report authored by Michael Pass in the matter of Shirley McKie v Scottish Ministers.

The motions were agreed to. 

22nd Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 7 June 2006

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed to take item 4 in private.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee received presentations from—

Arie Zeelenberg, Senior Advisor Fingerprints, Dutch National Police Force;

and then from—

Peter Swann, Fingerprint Consultant.

The Committee took evidence in round table format from—

Arie Zeelenberg, Senior Advisor Fingerprints, Dutch National Police Force;
Pat Wertheim, Independent Fingerprint Expert;
Allan Bayle, Independent Fingerprint Expert;
John McGregor, Principal Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Fingerprint Service Aberdeen Bureau;
Jim Aitken, Principal Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Fingerprint Service Edinburgh Bureau; and
Ken Clacher, Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Fingerprint Service Dundee Bureau.

The Committee agreed to defer taking evidence from the following witnesses to a future meeting—

Peter Swann, Fingerprint Consultant;
Malcolm Graham, Independent Fingerprint Expert;
John Berry, Retired Fingerprint Technician; and
Robert Mackenzie, Deputy Head of Bureau, Alan Dunbar, Quality Assurance Officer, Terry Foley, Senior Fingerprint Officer, and Alister Geddis, Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the remainder of its inquiry and agreed its approach to future oral evidence sessions.

5. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry, in order to inform the drafting of its report.

24th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 20 June 2006

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP and Des McNulty MSP

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed to take item 3 in private, however, in so doing, the Committee agreed to return to public session to record its decisions in relation to item 3.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

James Mackay, Former Deputy Chief Constable Tayside Police, Natasha Durkin, Solicitor, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Scott Robertson, Former Detective Chief Superintendent, Tayside Police and Sir William Rae, Honorary Secretary, ACPOS

and then from

James Black, Human Resources Consultant and Doris Littlejohn, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee

The Committee moved into private at 5.27 pm.

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered whether to accept written evidence received after the deadline for submission of written evidence. The Committee agreed not to accept two written submissions received after the deadline for receipt of written evidence.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry to a future meeting.

The Committee returned to public session at 5.58 pm to record its decisions in relation to item 3.

The Convener indicated that a report from John McLeod in relation to mark Y7 and report from Michael Pass in relation to mark QD2 had been released to the Committee by the Minister for Justice. The Committee agreed to publish the reports at 5 pm on Wednesday 21 June.

26th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Monday 26 June 2006

In attendance was Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed to take item 4 in private.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

John MacLeod, Independent Fingerprint Expert, BSB Forensic (Ltd)

and then from

Mike Thompson, Head of National Fingerprint Training, Centrex NTC

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence in round table format from—

Peter Swann, Fingerprint Consultant;
Malcolm Graham, Independent Fingerprint Expert;
 John Berry, Retired Fingerprint Technician; and

Robert Mackenzie, Deputy Head of Bureau, Alan Dunbar, Quality Assurance Officer, Terry Foley, Senior Fingerprint Officer, and Alister Geddes, Fingerprint Officer, Scottish Criminal Record Office.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to defer a decision on whether to accept written evidence received after the deadline for submission of written evidence to a future meeting.

5. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry to a future meeting.

28th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 6 September 2006

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take item 5 in private.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

William Taylor, Former HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland;

and then from

Mr Jim Wallace MSP, former Minister for Justice

and then from

Deputy Chief Constable David Mulhern, interim Chief Executive, Scottish Police Services Authority; and
Joanne Tierney, Training Manager, Scottish Fingerprint Service.

5. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered whether to accept into evidence seven submissions received after the deadline for submission of written evidence. The Committee agreed to accept six submissions into evidence and not to accept one submission.

6. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry to a future meeting.

29th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 12 September 2006

In attendance were Mr Kenneth Macintosh MSP, Des McNulty MSP and Alex Neil MSP.

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed to take consideration of the possible contents of its report on the Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry in private at future meetings.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee took evidence from—

Lord Boyd of Duncansby QC, Lord Advocate;
Jim Brisbane, Deputy Crown Agent, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; and
Leanne Cross, Legal Assistant to the Deputy Crown Agent, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

and then from

Cathy Jamieson MSP, Minister for Justice;
Christie Smith, Head of Division, Police Common Services, Information Technology, Crime Prevention, Scottish Executive; and
Richard Henderson, Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Executive.

3. Committee debate in Chamber: The Committee agreed to make a bid to the Conveners’ Group for time in the Chamber for a Committee debate on the Committee’s forthcoming report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office.

4. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the main themes arising from the evidence sessions to date on the inquiry, in order to inform the drafting of its report.

32nd Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 26 September 2006

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed to take consideration of whether to accept written evidence received after the deadline for submission of written evidence in private at this and future meetings.

2. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to accept into evidence written evidence received after the deadline for submission of written evidence.

3. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the possible contents of its report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office.

35th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 3 October 2006

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered the possible contents of its report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office.

38th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Wednesday 1 November 2006

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

39th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 7 November 2006

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

41st Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 14 November 2006

Also in attendance was Professor Jim Fraser, Committee Adviser.

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

45th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 28 November 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at a future meeting.

47th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 5 December 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at a future meeting.

49th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2), Tuesday 12 December 2006

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at a future meeting.

2nd Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Wednesday 10 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

3rd Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Wednesday 17 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

4th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Tuesday 23 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

5th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Wednesday 24 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

6th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Tuesday 30 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

7th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Wednesday 31 January 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

8th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Tuesday 6 February 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

9th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Wednesday 7 February 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and agreed to consider it further at its next meeting.

10th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2), Tuesday 13 February 2007

Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry (in private): The Committee considered and agreed its report on its inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office.


Footnotes:

521 Shelley Jofre, written evidence, The Judgement in R. v Gilbert Thomas Patrick McNamee,

522 ‘Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound’

523 Official Report, 22 February 2006, c23346

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