Plans for Women in Custody
Work to build a new 80 place national facility for women in custody and 25 place assessment centre at the Cornton Vale site near Stirling is progressing. The number of women in custody at Cornton Vale was reduced during 2016 in order allow HMP Cornton Vale to remain operational during the construction work. Preparatory work for the construction is now underway with certain demolition work having already taken place. Design work is at an advanced stage with the Proposal of Application Notice for planning being submitted in November 2017. The planning application for the new Women’s National Facility was received by Stirling Council in March 2018. The project is on track to be completed and operational by the end of 2020.
In July 2017, the Cabinet Secretary announced that initially two of the five planned Community Custody Units ( CCU) would be built during 2020. He confirmed the location of these as being in Glasgow and Dundee. A site has been purchased at Maryhill in Glasgow and a demolition contractor appointed to clear the site and prepare it for the construction work. Two potential sites have been identified in Dundee and work to select the preferred site is nearing completion. Design work on the CCUs is at an advanced stage and at the moment they remain on track to be built and operational by the end of 2020.
Planning Permission in Principle was granted by The Highland Council in December 2017, for HMP Highland on a new site at Inverness Retail Park. The formal transfer of site ownership took place in March 2018. The proposed new prison would replace the current HMP Inverness, with development on site programmed to commence as early as April 2019.
HM Prison Glasgow
Work to identify appropriate potential sites is on-going. Preliminary Heads of Terms have been entered into with the owners of a prospective site, to allow the site to be reviewed in further detail. Any formal site purchase agreement would be subject to a successful Planning Permission in Principle application.
HM Prison Greenock
The site remains ready for development, following earlier site clearance and enabling works. Concept design work was commenced in August 2017 on the design of a replacement prison for the current HMP Greenock. The proposals are to provide a prison that is fit for purpose and with a design capacity for 300 prisoners. By December 2017 the proposals had been sufficiently developed to allow them to be presented to internal stakeholders for comment. The intention is to complete the concept design work, including interior design and landscaping proposals, and to prepare invitation to tender documentation by April 2018. However to address Scottish Government funding requirements the release of the invitation to tender ( ITT) is not expected to occur until during 2019.
Inverness Justice Centre Project
A suitable site which is close to the town centre and the bus and train links has been purchased and planning permission has been obtained. The enabling works have been completed and the main construction works commenced in March 2018. Completion is due in dNovember 2019.
Investment in the use of technology is a key objective of Policing 2026, the long-term strategy for policing in Scotland which was published in June 2017. Police Scotland’s associated three year implementation plan (due to be approved by the Scottish Police Authority Board in May 2018) describes how the service will utilise technology to enable workforce efficiency and operational effectiveness going forward. All of this work will be underpinned by a new Digital, Data and ICT Strategy which is currently being developed.
Early work to modernise key platform technology is already underway, with funding having been released by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of a new national network and national Domain for the service.
Moving forward the service intends to take an incremental approach to ICT development, building on learning from the previous i6 project which aimed to deliver an integrated and comprehensive suite of frontline police ICT capabilities covering crime reporting, missing persons, custody, vulnerable persons, lost property and criminal justice.
The project was terminated on 1 July 2016 following an assessment that it could not deliver the required functionality within the contracted timescales. The conclusions of the Audit Scotland review of i6 published on 9 March 2017 highlight a number of areas where good practice was followed, including the procurement process and the effectiveness of contract arrangements as well as examining reasons why the project failed. The failure of the i6 project is attributed to an underestimate of the effort involved; to the method of development which meant fundamental flaws only became clear in the testing phase; and to a dispute between Police Scotland and Accenture which occurred early in the life of the programme, but which affected relationships throughout.
Emergency Services Future Communications
Ahead of the decommissioning of the Airwave telecommunications system, which is currently used by the emergency services across Scotland and the rest of Great Britain, a Home Office-led programme is progressing the introduction of successor provision - the Emergency Service Network. Initial contracts for the central lots were awarded to Motorola (user services) and EE (mobile services) in December 2015, since then work on mobilisation has been taken forward by the contractors, with planning applications being put forward and the first of the new infrastructure beginning to appear. Work on supplementary related projects (e.g. extended area services in remoter locations) is also being progressed.
The programme’s delivery and transition timescales are being reset following the Westminster Public Accounts Committee in January 2018 and a delay of 12-24 months is now possible on the original delivery date to Scottish emergency services in 2020. What is already clear however is that an extension to Airwave into at least 2021 is required and that the programme will need to seek re-approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury and its sponsors (including the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority). The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme ( ESMCP) estimate of the investment vs. spend profile will require to be reassessed as part of this process: it had been that with £186.8 million of value/benefit in Scotland that the Scotland cost is £55.6 million; a ratio of 3.4:1.
At the last ESMCP Board meeting on 30 January 2018 the Home Office said they will not confirm updated programme costs until the spring of 2018. Contingency planning is also underway, to allow for extension of the Airwave system (ownership of which transferred to Motorola early in 2016) in the event of further delay to transition.