Draft Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland

Top level framework for what is expected of our police service in Scotland.

2. Strategic Planning In Policing

Whilst it is for Scottish Ministers to set the Strategic Police Priorities, the delivery and achievement of those Priorities is a matter for the SPA and Police Scotland.

Alongside our work to revise the Strategic Police Priorities, Police Scotland is consulting on local priorities for police services centred around the message 'Your View Counts' [8] . This is being facilitated through a year round online survey and an ongoing programme of engagement with different communities across the country. The information gathered will support Police Scotland to identify priorities for operational policing activity and, alongside the Strategic Police Priorities, be used to inform the content of both the Annual Police Plan ( APP) and Local Police Plans.

The Wider Planning Structure for Policing

The detail of how the SPA and Police Scotland intend to deliver the Priorities will be developed through the SPA's Strategic Police Plan and through Police Scotland's APP and Local Police Plans. Police Scotland and the SPA are currently working to synchronise the planning cycle to better integrate the strategic planning process for police services.

Figure 1: Strategic Planning Structure

Figure 1: Strategic Planning Structure

Strategic Police Plan

Under the Act, the SPA is charged with developing a Strategic Police Plan [9] which will set out the main objectives for the SPA and for the policing of Scotland. The SPA has a statutory duty to have regard for the Strategic Police Priorities when preparing the Strategic Police Plan. This plan is subject to a consultation process and must be laid in Parliament. We expect that a revised Strategic Police Plan will be published and laid before the Scottish Parliament in early 2017 and that plan will reflect the revised Strategic Police Priorities.

Annual Police Plan

Developed by Police Scotland, the APP sets out the priorities for police activity across a given year. The priorities set out within the plan are identified through engagement with communities across Scotland and current priority areas include:

  • Violence, disorder and antisocial behaviour
  • Road safety and road crime
  • Protecting lieople at risk of harm
  • Serious organised crime
  • Counter terrorism

The Chief Constable has a statutory duty to have regard for, and ensure that the APP is consistent with, the Strategic Police Priorities. The APP must be laid in Parliament by 1 April each year. The APP for 2017/18 will reflect the revised Strategic Police Priorities.

Local Police Plans

Local Police Plans set out local policing priorities for each of Scotland's 32 local authority areas, and link to the Annual Police Plan. They are informed by evidence of local service priorities, and developed through consultation with local communities, partners, and elected members. A local authority can specify measures it would like included in a local police plan, and the plan is presented to the local authority for approval.

Measuring Performance

Progress against the Strategic Police Priorities is currently measured by the SPA through quarterly performance reporting and the Annual Review of Policing [10] .

The purpose of the review is to provide the Scottish Government and other stakeholders with a clear picture of progress against the Strategic Police Priorities and a statement on the direction for the coming year. The review assesses the SPA's performance in carrying out its functions as well as an assessment of Police Scotland's performance and how both organisations are working towards achieving the objectives of the Strategic Police Plan.

Additionally, Police Scotland reports crime statistics [11] quarterly and annually. Further work is planned throughout 2016 involving the SPA, Scottish Government and Police Scotland to develop and strengthen the way that progress is measured and reported in preparation for a revised SPA Strategic Police Plan in 2017.


Email: Daniel Couldridge, ScotPolicePriorities@gov.uk

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