The publication of Policing 2026 signals the start of a landmark countrywide consultation designed to ensure as many voices as possible are heard to help the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland design its services to keep people safe over the next decade. The consultation will run for 10 weeks and will help refine and inform the strategy.
Policing 2026 was jointly developed by the SPA and Police Scotland following extensive work and research to establish existing, latent and predicted demand for policing services in a rapidly changing world.
The demands on policing are changing. The patterns of crime are shifting - often enabled by new technologies, the population is ageing and becoming more diverse and the duty to protect the vulnerable is becoming ever more complex. The police service must adapt and develop its capacity and capability to maximise public safety and remain operationally and financially sustainable.
The strategy will chart the next phase in the transformation of policing in Scotland. It will create a workforce of police officers and staff who are focussed on where they can add most value to the mission of protecting and serving the public. It will see technology and new ways of working releasing greater productivity and more time tackling crime and addressing issues around vulnerability. The workforce mix will evolve as new skills and capabilities are developed to tackle the emerging challenges revealed in the 2026 strategy.
Andrew Flanagan, chairman of the SPA, and Chief Constable Phil Gormley announced the consultation in Edinburgh.
Mr Flanagan said: “Policing 2026 sets out a vision and direction for policing in Scotland through to 2026 to match the Strategic Police Priorities set by the Scottish Government. The SPA and Police Scotland have spent many months assessing the changing nature of communities and their demands on policing as well as analysing the changing nature of crime. From a position of strength, we need to ensure that Police Scotland adapts to these changes and has the range of skills and capacity to deal with growing demand and that we do so in a financially sustainable way. Policing is a vital public service and it is essential that we listen to those we wish to serve to ensure we meet their expectations. Through this consultation we are asking for everyone to provide their views on the approach outlined today and I would urge as many people as possible to take part.”
Mr Gormley said: “Policing in Scotland has gone through significant transition; it is proudly one of the oldest public services in the world. Now the service must transform to realise and release the full benefits of being a single organisation. Local policing will remain at the heart of what we do, supported by a wide range of specialist capabilities. In an ever-changing world, people will continue to turn to the police service for a myriad of reasons, which means it’s never been more important to understand our demand, both current and future, in order to be able deliver a service which is relevant, has legitimacy and above all maintains the trust and confidence of the public.”
Developing our approach in five key areas of activity will drive the transformation:
- Prevention – tackling crime, inequality and critical problems facing communities
- Protection – based on threat, risk and harm
- Communities – focused on localism, diversity and the virtual world
- Knowledge – informing the development of better services
- Innovation – becoming a dynamic, adaptable and sustainable service
A full copy of the strategy can be accessed Policing 2026 - DRAFT 10-year strategy for policing in Scotland.
Strategy launch - SPA Chair Andrew Flanagan / Chief Constable speeches.
Policing 2026 - Q&A
Consultations responses are invited until May 8 and can be submitted here.