Evaluation of Police and Fire Reform: Year 3 informants report

Evaluation of Police and Fire Reform: Year 3 national key informants report and summary of evidence.


This report will discuss the perspectives of the national key informants for both services. It should however, be noted that the services are working within different contexts. SFRS has been responding to a changing demand environment in which dealing with fires is becoming less of a focus than in the past with consequent implications for the firefighter role. The need for change within SFRS is thus not only a result of reform. In 2016, the Scottish Government produced a Framework for Scotland, outlining their strategic vision and long term expectations of SFRS in terms of protecting communities; the evolving role of SFRS; and governance, accountabiltiy and performance [5] . SFRS are currently conducting a public consultation on transformation to help shape the future of the service [6] .

Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority have produced a 10 year strategy document outlining their vision for a transformed service, Policing 2026 [7] (an overview of this strategy can be found in Annex 1). The key pillars of this vision focus on prevention, protection, communities, knowledge and innovation. Unlike SFRS, Police Scotland continue to be the focus of intense media and political scrutiny and there are continuing challenges in relation to the role of the Scottish Police Authority and in relation to the leadership of the service. It should be noted that in the period from late 2017 there has been some signficant changes in leadership at the SPA with the recruitment of a chair and seven new board members. The Executive have also appointed a new interim Chief Officer, with further senior officer recruitment currently taking place, including a timetable for recruiting a new Chief Constable.

These differences in context mean that the experiences of the Police Scotland and SFRS will be examined separately in this report but the broader conclusions and lessons of this phase of reform discussed at the end will draw together findings from both police and fire and rescue.


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