Strategic Police Priorities

Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland which are provided for through section 33 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

Strategic police priorities

Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland which are provided for through section 33 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

Strategic police priorities

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 enables Scottish Ministers to set Strategic Police Priorities (SPPs), providing high-level direction for the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland. They connect with the Act's statutory policing principles that 'the main purpose of policing is to improve the safety and wellbeing of persons, localities and communities in Scotland'.

Following the commitment within the 2018-19 Programme for Government to review the SPPs a consultation on updated SPPs took place over the course of 2019, with updated text being laid before the Scottish Parliament on 17 December of that year.

The consultation also asked people to offer views on how long the SPPs should be in place, as no timeframe is set out in statute, with the consultation document proposing six years. The consultation analysis highlighted that the majority of respondents were positive about this timeframe. However, the Scottish Government undertook that a short exercise be undertaken at the midpoint of that six year period to sense check the SPPs for ongoing relevancy on emerging threats, the changing needs of individuals and communities, operational delivery and the ongoing transformation of the service.

This exercise would involve those partners who Scottish Ministers are legally required to consult with prior to setting the SPPs – the SPA, Police Scotland (through the Chief Constable), and local authority representatives (Cosla). On this occasion we also sought views from His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland (HMICS).

These revised SPPs have been developed through that process and contain some small changes to the previous text which reflect the public health and economic challenges of the period since late 2019. The SPA and Police Scotland will use these SPPs to inform both the Strategic and Annual Police Plans, which will include putting in place objectives for the police service and the activities which will deliver them.

We expect that these priorities will remain in place for a period of three years ahead of the next full review consultation due to take place in 2025.

The revised SPPs are as follows:

Crime and Security – prioritises prevention, detection, investigation, equality and human rights to support positive criminal justice outcomes; responds to threats, and maintains public order, both locally and nationally.

Confidence – continues to inspire public trust by being ethical, open, transparent person-centred and trauma informed; maintains relationships and engages with local communities, to build a positive reputation at a local, national and international level.

Partnerships – works collaboratively with key sectors to keep communities safe, sharing a collective responsibility to deliver preventative services that improve outcomes for individuals and communities, increase resilience and address vulnerability.

Sustainability – adapts resources and plans for both current and future social, economic and financial circumstances considering equalities perspectives and the environmental impact of policing and its operations.

People – values, supports, engages and empowers a diverse workforce to lead and deliver high quality services, with a focus on workforce development, equality, inclusion and overall wellbeing.

Evidence – uses evidence to innovate and develop services which address the current and emerging needs of individuals and local communities, and ensure that resources, capacity, insight and skills are in the right place to deliver outcomes.

For further information please contact:

Police Division
Scottish Government
1st Floor Rear
St Andrew's House
Regent Road



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