Future police direction

New strategic priorities for policing.

Views are being sought on new national priorities for policing in Scotland.

The priorities set the long-term overarching framework for Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. They are being updated to reflect significant developments and progress in operational delivery, emerging threats and the changing needs of communities. The priorities also focus on anticipated future demands of the service.

The consultation includes the following six new Strategic Police Priorities:

  • crime and security – respond to current and emerging threats, maintain public order and prioritises prevention, investigation, equality and human rights
  • confidence – continue to inspire public trust by being ethical, open and transparent
  • partnerships – work with partners to maintain safe communities and support improved outcomes, increase resilience and address vulnerability
  • sustainability – plan for current and future social and economic circumstances and considers the environmental impact of policing and its operations
  • people – value and empower a diverse workforce to lead and deliver high quality services
  • evidence – use evidence to develop services and ensure that the right capacity and skills are in place to deliver high performing and innovative services

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We are well served by the police, who have contributed to falls in crime and violent crime. We want to ensure that the strategic direction we set for the police service reflects the issues which are important to people and our communities.

“This review of the the Strategic Police Priorities will ensure Scotland’s police service continues to grow and develop, and I encourage everyone to have their say by taking part in the consultation.”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said:

“Police reform has transformed how we investigate serious criminality and respond to critical incidents across the country. Police Scotland has maintained officer numbers while delivering around £200m of annual savings.

“We have the opportunity now to lead on adopting new technology and to work collaboratively to enable our people to meet a wide range of challenges, from  sustainability to emerging crime threats, and improve outcomes for Scotland.

“This is an important opportunity to ensure policing priorities continue to represent the communities we serve.”

Scottish Police Authority chair, Susan Deacon, said:

"The Scottish Government's Strategic Police Priorities play an important role and inform the direction and delivery   of policing in Scotland. It is critical that the priorities reflect the issues that matter to communities and also support the continued development of a police service that tackles crime, responds effectively to changing demands and builds trust and confidence in the service."  


Take part in the consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation hub The closing date for responses is 4 October.


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