Strategic police priorities: consultation analysis

External analysis report of the responses received to the consultation on the revised strategic police priorities.

2. Background

2.1 Background

Following a commitment within the 2018-19 Programme for Government,[3] the Scottish Government Ministers have developed a revised set of draft Scottish Policing Priorities (SPPs) for the policing of Scotland and the functions of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA).  These SPPs inform the Strategic Police Plan, Serving a Changing Scotland.[4]  

The draft SPPs have been created by the Scottish Government in consultation with;

  • SPA
  • Police Scotland
  • COSLA officials
  • Representatives from the Scottish Police Federation 
  • Association of Scottish Police Superintendents
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS)
  • Police Investigation and Review Commissioner (PIRC)

The current and future direction of policing in Scotland is strategically driven by these key priorities and they also provide direction for the functions of the SPA including the Forensic Service, Independent Custody Visiting, and Corporate functions. ‘Serving a Changing Scotland’ is the foundation to achieving the SPPs and their revision will help drive change and improvement Scotland wide.

Key to the SPPs, and policing in Scotland, is providing a presence in order to improve the safety and wellbeing of Scottish communities and promoting accessibility, engagement and crime prevention.[5]

The proposed new Strategic Police Priorities are:

  • Crime and Security – prioritises prevention, investigation, equality and human rights to support positive criminal justice outcomes, respond to current and emerging threats and maintain public order.   
  • Confidence – continues to inspire public trust by being ethical, open and transparent, evidencing performance against outcomes, and building on a positive reputation at a local, national and international level. 
  • Partnerships – works proactively with partners to maintain safe communities and support improved outcomes for individuals, increasing resilience and addressing vulnerability.  
  • Sustainability – adapts to present and plans for future social and economic circumstances, considering the environmental impact of policing and its operations. 
  • People – values, supports, engages and empowers a diverse workforce to lead and deliver high quality services.  
  • Evidence – uses evidence to develop services and addresses current and emerging demands, ensuring that the right capacity and skills are in place to deliver high performing and innovative services.

The Scottish Government ran a twelve-week consultation from 15 July until 4 October 2019 to seek the views of the public and organisations on the proposed revised SPPs, enabling the opportunity to comment on their development and their new proposed lifespan of six years (an alteration from three years previously). 

Pye Tait Consulting was commissioned to independently, objectively and comprehensively analyse all 59 Citizen Space consultation responses along with 12 notes of stakeholder meetings attended by the Scottish Government, and identify the key themes raised. These key themes are discussed in the report in section 4 and 5. The responses received are intended to inform any revisions to the priorities to ensure their focus is appropriate. 

2.2 Research Objectives 

The aim of this project was to analyse all responses received in connection with the SPP consultation, (including minutes from the stakeholder meetings) objectively and comprehensively. 

This allowed the identification of key themes under each individual SPP and the production of this report for the Scottish Government. 

The findings from this report will underpin the Scottish Government’s considerations in finalising the revised SPPs.

The outcome of this analysis was to ensure that the new proposed SPPs take into consideration all feedback received from respondents such as individuals, local communities, local authorities, and third sector organisations, and local police divisions.

Specific objectives of this report included:

  • Analysis of all consultation questions in detail, particularly the open-response qualitative questions, to extract the key themes for each question.
  • Identification of the main issues raised overall by respondents and by respondent type (individual or organisation). While gathering local views was a key focus, fairness of reporting was ensured.
  • Reporting on the key themes addressed in the responses and individual questions, and the arguments (positive, negative and alternative) raised by respondent groups in a representative and considered manner. 



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