Vic Emery issues robust defence of policing 

Published

SPA Chair Vic Emery issues defence of policing

PUBLISHED 21 JULY 2015 

Responding to recent and sustained criticism of policing in recent weeks, Vic Emery, the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority has issued the following statement: 

“Everyone in policing regrets the recent tragic M9 incident. The Chief Constable has led Scottish policing’s acknowledgement of that failing, and has been clear in showing his personal commitment and duty to lead the service through this. The SPA continues to have confidence in him doing that, and will continue to provide both the support and necessary oversight required.

"The SPA is also fully supportive of the HMICS investigation and review which will look specifically at Police Scotland's call handling procedures and processed in Contact, command and Control centres. 

“In acknowledging problems we cannot stand by and allow the recent history and track record of policing in Scotland to be rewritten, or for past weaknesses to be conveniently swept under the carpet. Levels of crime have continued to reduce. Postcode lotteries of approach in areas like domestic abuse and child exploitation have been addressed. Police resources are being deployed to meet needs and demands without the bureaucracy of mutual aid arrangements. Communities across Scotland are benefiting from access to specialist assets like air support and mounted police that were previously only available in the central belt. Technology and systems that used to stop working at force boundaries are talking to one another.

“Many key areas of policing in Scotland are stronger today than they were under the previous multi-force system, and that has been done alongside successful efforts to reduce the costs of policing. Efficiencies that in a time of budget constraint that have required us to embrace change and move away from the comfort zone of the status quo. But changes that are required to ensure we continue to sustain the historically high numbers of officers we have working out there in every community the length and breadth of Scotland.”

We fully support the HMICS investigation and review which will look specifically at Police Scotland’s call handling procedures and processes within the Contact, Command and Control centres. The commitment to do this quickly will help to ensure the public can have confidence that the police will be available to answer incidents as and when they arise