Police officers across Scotland do a vital job keeping our communities safe, often in challenging circumstances.
We are committed to supporting this crucial service, and ensuring our police workforce is well-equipped to deal with emerging threats and future needs.
We are building on reforms already delivered to Scottish policing by:
- supporting delivery of the Policing 2026 strategy which aims to transform technology and services
- working with partners to review the strategic police priorities which set the direction for policing in Scotland
- protecting the police resource budget in real terms in every year of this Parliament - a boost of £100 million by 2021
We are also:
- strengthening powers and procedures available to the police to prevent and detect crime, whilst protecting the rights of those accused
- improving how biometric data such as fingerprints, DNA and facial images are handled by police through the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Bill
- strengthening public confidence in policing by working with partners on the interim recommendations from the independent review of complaints handling, investigations and misconduct in relation to policing
- ensuring the experiences of those affected by the 1984 to 1985 miners' strike are fully understood through the independent review of the impact of policing on communities
- ensuring improvements to police officer terms and conditions agreed by the Police Negotiating Board are enshrined in secondary legislation
- scoping an independent working group to examine possible legal and ethical issues presented by technological developments in policing
- funding a programme to support the mental health and wellbeing of front line emergency workers, including police
Police Scotland is the single service responsible for policing in Scotland.
It is held to account by the Scottish Police Authority which is accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.
The police officer quarterly strength statistics provide quarterly updates on the number of police officers employed by Police Scotland.
Bills and legislation
The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 provides the statutory basis for policing in Scotland.
It brought together 10 police organisations into a single police service.
The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 modernised the arrest and custody procedures and provisions for people coming into police custody.
The Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Bill puts in place new oversight arrangements for the collection, use, retention and disposal of biometric data for criminal justice purposes, through the creation of a new parliamentary commissioner.
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