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.

Relevance of the strategic aims of reform

When the national key informants were interviewed in 2015 they explained ‘how’ and ‘why’ the strategic aims of reform had (or had not) been met [8] . These aims are:

Aim 1 – to protect and improve local services despite financial cuts, by stopping duplication of support services eight times over and not cutting front line services

Aim 2 – to create more equal access to specialist support and national capacity – like murder investigation teams, firearms teams or flood rescue – where and when they are needed

Aim 3 – strengthen the connection between services and the communities they serve by providing an opportunity for more local councillors to be involved in shaping local services for better integration with community planning

In 2015, the services were 2 years into the reform process and it was found at that stage that there was plausible and credible evidence of progress being made towards achieving the aims of reform. Two years later and respondents from both services feel they have largely achieved aims 1 and 2. For both services aim 3 is viewed as a high priority but also the hardest to achieve.

On the whole both services still see the relevance in the original aims. There was a view within SFRS, however, that it would be helpful to have another aim which reflects the future of the services as they move into a process of transformation. Police Scotland, still view the aims as relevant but are also focused on their Policing 2026 strategy. Both services are therefore very much focused on planning for a ‘transformation phase’ and having to confront key questions regarding the financial sustainability of different models of service deliveryin the future:

‘How do you create a sustainable organisation in to the future that meets people’s needs, that helps to improve outcomes for people, and, again, has a very strong focus on prevention?’ (7 SFRS interviewee)

‘So almost trying to work out “what does policing look like in the future?”, because that should be what reform’s about’ (2 partner interviewee)


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