Draft Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland - Consultation Analysis Report

An analysis report for the recent consultation on Strategic Police Priorities.


11. The 'Draft Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland' consultation paper contained three questions. Two related to the draft Strategic Police Priorities as described in the consultation document, firstly asking respondents if they thought the Priorities summed up their ambitions for policing in Scotland and secondly if they agreed that the Priorities were suitable for the communities they work with or represent. Respondents were offered the chance to provide comments on each of these elements.

12. The consultation also asked whether respondents had anything to add to the partial Equality Impact Assessment ( EQIA)/Children's Rights and Well-being Impact Assessment ( CRWIA) or Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment ( BRIA) which had been compiled in relation to the draft Priorities and published alongside the consultation document.

13. The questions asked are presented in Annex A .

Number and Nature of Respondents

14. A total of 110 written responses to the consultation were received, the vast majority of which were submitted via the Citizen Space online consultation hub. 27 responses were received from individual members of the public, whilst 83 responses were submitted by organisations [2] . Responding organisations included:

  • local authorities and affiliated organisations (including CoSLA and community councils/community planning partnerships ( CPPs));
  • victim support and interest groups;
  • other public bodies (such as NHS Boards, the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service);
  • various other general interest groups and third sector organisations (including groups such as LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, Scottish Council on Deafness, and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland); and
  • bodies involved directly with policing in Scotland, including Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority ( SPA), the Scottish Police Federation ( SPF), and Unison Police Staff Scotland.

15. A full list of the respondents to the consultation who were willing to have their name/organisation disclosed is provided in Annex B . Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, these are available on Citizen Space which is accessible via the Scottish Government website. All respondents were given the choice to submit their entries anonymously and for their responses to be made anonymous in reporting. All responses were moderated for any potentially defamatory, explicit or offensive material before being approved for publication.

16. A series of engagement events were held by the Scottish Government's Police Strategy Unit with community and interest groups around Scotland to gather additional feedback on the draft Strategic Police Priorities. Notes of key issues were taken during the engagement events and these have been considered as part of this analysis. A number of the organisations involved in those discussions also submitted formal written responses (online or by email/post) to the consultation. For the purposes of this report, comments received have been described as coming from 'respondents' regardless of the method of their individual or organisational input.

Format of Responses

17. Although the consultation had three questions in total, the first two (which focussed on the content of the draft Priorities) were quite broad in scope and very closely related. As such, respondents differed in their approach to completing the consultation with some answering both these questions separately, some offering a single answer covering both the first and second questions, and some submitting an overall response which did not follow the set question structure. This meant that a number of respondents also did not respond to the quantitative (yes/no) elements of the questions before providing their detailed comments.

18. In addition, the majority of the respondents considered both the text of the draft Priorities and the associated background material in their feedback. As such, the analysis presented in this report covers each of these elements by treating them as one and the same.

19. The majority of respondents indicated that they had nothing to add to the partial impact assessments (or chose to not answer the question at all), although the analysis below also summarises the points made by those who did offer additional views on this.

Analysis Approach

20. As discussed above, the consultation was structured by three yes/no questions which then asked respondents to provide further comments as appropriate to explain their views. Initial analysis of the three core questions found that (of those who answered each question [3] ):

  • 72% indicated that the draft revised Priorities summed up their ambitions for the police service, with 28% disagreeing;
  • 63% agreed that the revised Priorities reflected the needs of their local community or the communities they serve, with 37% indicating they did not; and
  • 42% highlighted that they had comments to add on the impact assessments.

21. However, further exploration of the comments alongside each yes/no question revealed that many of the respondents selecting 'yes' to the first two questions caveated their responses in the feedback which followed, such that many responses could possibly be interpreted as 'yes - partially' or 'yes - to some extent'. In addition, a number of responses against the impact assessment question actually made reference to more general points about the draft Priorities.

22. Taking this into consideration, alongside the fact that not all respondents followed the question structure as discussed above, the analysis presented in this report does not focus on statistical analysis of the yes/no questions.

23. Instead, the answers given to any and all of the three yes/no questions have been read alongside free-text comments and/or over-arching narratives provided by respondents, allowing us to gather an understanding of the main points being made. Each response was read in full (including notes from the stakeholder engagement events) and categorised according to theme, with key messages drawn out.

24. A wide range of views were expressed, some of which were in-depth explorations of aspects of operational policing or other more specific matters relating to aspects of policing, the law and the criminal justice system as a whole. The analysis presented in this report focuses on the most common themes and comments raised by respondents, although other points made less frequently were also taken into consideration and many of these are also highlighted. Where possible and relevant, the analysis has tried to distinguish any notable differences or similarities between certain types of respondent ( e.g. key themes raised by local authorities).

Structure of Report

25. The content of responses often covered the two main questions at the same time, and respondents commonly made over-arching points or ones which related to a number of the draft Priorities. Therefore, rather than presenting analysis according to each individual question, this report presents the analysis by:

a) Discussing overall comments which apply to the draft Priorities in general terms;

b) Exploring comments made in relation to each draft Priority in turn, following the order they were set out in the consultation paper for ease of reference, as follows:

  • Localism
  • Prevention
  • Response
  • Collaborative working
  • Accountability
  • Adaptability

Some of these comments extend to issues which are unlikely to be captured by the Priorities themselves but are nevertheless relevant.

c) Providing a summary of some other points made which were not directly relevant to the content of the draft Priorities but are related to their implementation. All of these points have been considered in the development of the final Strategic Police Priorities.

d) highlighting some of the key themes raised by respondents in relation to the impact assessments published alongside the draft Priorities.


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