1. Introduction to the evaluation
In 2014, the Scottish Government commissioned an independent four year evaluation of police and fire reform in Scotland to:
i. Assess the extent to which the three aims of police and fire reform appear to have been met (reduced duplication, greater access to specialist expertise, and strengthening connections with communities)
ii. Identify lessons from the implementation of reform that might inform the process of future public service reform
iii. Evaluate the impacts of the reforms on the justice system and the wider public sector.
The evaluation began in February 2015 and was undertaken by a consortium of researchers from the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR), ScotCen Social Research and What Works Scotland. A series of research activities were undertaken to deliver the evaluation's aims, and these are summarised in Annex A.
As part of the evaluation, an international network of researchers and practitioners involved with police and fire reform was developed creating significant and valued opportunities for international learning and knowledge exchange. This included the delivery of two international workshops which were hosted in Scotland in 2016 and 2018, where international colleagues from police and fire, as well as partner organisations and stakeholders from within Scotland (including for example representatives of Scottish Government, HM Inspectorates for Police and Fire in Scotland, governance bodies and members of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee) came together to share and discuss experiences of reform and provide a platform for future comparative work.