User Guide to Recorded Crime Statistics in Scotland

Provides detailed information on the Recorded Crime in Scotland statistical bulletin series. It is designed to be a useful reference guide with explanatory notes regarding issues and classifications which are crucial to the production and presentation of crime statistics in Scotland.

2. Police reform

2.1 Police Scotland

Police Scotland was formally established on 1 April 2013 and is responsible for policing across Scotland. Police Scotland is led by a Chief Constable and comprises police officers, police staff and special constables. The Chief Constable is supported by a command team of three Deputy Chief Constables, a Deputy Chief Officer, Assistant Chief Constables and Directors.

Within Police Scotland there are thirteen local policing divisions[1], each headed by a Local Police Commander. Alongside the local policing divisions, there are a number of national specialist divisions. Police Scotland’s priorities are outlined in their Annual Police Plan.

2.2 Scottish Police Authority

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) was established under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 to maintain policing, promote policing principles and continuous improvement of policing. The SPA Board was appointed in October 2012. It holds the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland, and the Chief Executive of the SPA to account for its role as employer of staff and the delivery of services to the board and policing.

The SPA Board has delegated responsibility to the Scottish Police Authority Chief Executive to provide support and advice to the board on strategic decisions regarding finance, human resource and any other area required. The Chief Executive also oversees the management of Forensic Services in Scotland to support Police Scotland to carry out operational policing.

2.3 Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) provides independent scrutiny of both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. HMICS has wide ranging powers to look into the “state, effectiveness and efficiency” of both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, including Forensic Services. Its approach is to support Police Scotland and the SPA to deliver services that are high quality, continually improving, effective and responsive to local needs.

HMICS also has a statutory duty to ensure that the Chief Constable of Police Scotland and the SPA meet their obligations in terms of best value and continuous improvement. HMICS also has an established role in providing professional advice and guidance on policing in Scotland.

HMICS is empowered to do anything they consider necessary or expedient for the purposes of, or in connection with, the carrying out of their functions. The SPA and the Chief Constable must provide HMICS with such assistance and co-operation as they may require to carry out their functions and must comply with any reasonable request that they make. When HMICS publishes a report, the SPA and the Chief Constable must also consider what HMICS has found and take such measures, if any, as they think fit. Where HMICS makes recommendations, it will follow them up and report publicly on progress.



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