Future policing

Views sought on new policing priorities.

Views are being sought by the Scottish Government on six new national priorities for policing in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has today launched a public consultation on new Strategic Police Priorities, covering the themes of localism, prevention, response, collaborative working, accountability and adaptability.

The new priorities set the future strategic direction for Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority and are as follows:

  • Ensure that the needs of communities are understood and reflected in the planning and delivery of policing
  • Ensure the police service works to prevent crime and reduce fear of crime through education, partnership, innovation and communication, placing particular focus on the need to address inequalities within and between communities
  • Focus policing on keeping people safe by tackling crime and responding to and investigating incidents effectively and efficiently
  • Ensure that the police service works collaboratively with partners at both a local and national level to deliver better outcomes for people in Scotland
  • Maintain public confidence in policing and inspire trust by being transparent, accountable and acting with integrity, fairness and respect
  • Ensure the police service is able to take advantage of new opportunities and meet emerging threats and challenges.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson visited Larbert High School in Falkirk to launch the consultation, meeting pupils and the local campus police officer. He said:

“The current Strategic Police Priorities have now been in place for just over three years and have provided clear direction for the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland through their critical first years of operation.

“I am confident that we are on the right track. Recorded crime is at a 41 year low, violent crime is down by more than half since 2006/07 and homicides are at their lowest since records began.

“However, it is important that we build on this progress, ensuring that every individual across Scotland experiences the benefits that come with having an effective police service.

“The draft Strategic Police Priorities are a key building block in delivering this goal, and represent our high level ambition for what we want our police service to be.

“We need a service which carries the shared values of all of our public sector, which works at an international level to combat the threats of modern times, that brings national consistency, coordination and specialist resource and holds local policing at its heart. It must be focused on priorities which are relevant to, and serve the interests of, local people.

“The Programme for Government set out our commitment to provide opportunities for members of the public, communities and local police scrutiny committees to discuss and develop new national priorities for policing in Scotland. These new priorities are an important part of the transformation of our police service and I would encourage everyone to have their say.”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley added:

“Police Scotland operates with the consent and support of the communities we serve. I welcome the public consultation on strategic policing priorities as they will enable our officers to deliver localised, community-focused services to the people of Scotland. Understanding as much as we can about what communities need is a crucial factor in shaping a sustainable future for policing.

“By participating in this consultation process, members of the public are able to guide Police Scotland to the issues affecting their communities, enabling us to create a targeted approach to local issues. We recently launched Your View Counts which allows local priorities to be established. The setting of strategic priorities helps build a bigger picture of what our communities feel and how we respond to risk, threat and harm with a view to protecting the public.”

Scottish Police Authority Andrew Flanagan also said:

“The SPA welcomes the launch of the public consultation to establish the strategic priorities for policing.

“Scottish Policing has undergone major changes in recent years whilst maintaining a strong police performance and improving access to national resources. It is important that communities continue to tell us what issues are of greatest concern so that, working with our partners, we can use this information to focus on the right priorities to protect the public.

“Feedback will also play an important part in the SPA and Police Scotland’s development of a long-term vision and strategic direction for policing over the coming decade.”

Notes to editors

The Draft Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland Consultation Paper can be found here:


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