Policing 2026

Published

Policing 2026 Strategy laid in Parliament.

A vision for the future of policing in Scotland has been laid before the Scottish Parliament following one of the most extensive consultation exercises ever undertaken in Scotland.

The Policing 2026 strategy sets out ambitious plans to build the police service that Scotland needs for the future, and to make it financially and operationally sustainable within three years.

In one of the largest initiatives of its kind, views were sought on the draft strategy in a nationwide consultation that ran between February and May 2017. 1715 responses were received, supplemented by additional feedback gathered from staff, partners and the public at events and meetings both before and during the consultation.

The strategy was well received with the majority agreeing with the proposals and approach across all questions. Feedback was generally very positive about the vision set out in the strategy, the means of achieving it, and prospects for delivering sustained excellence in service and protection for the people of Scotland.

The SPA Board and Police Scotland believe that the consultation provides reassurance and confidence in the direction initially set out, and has resulted in stronger emphasis in the final strategy on the recognised value of volunteer and charitable partners, continued commitment to community planning and needs of remote and rural communities, staff welfare, and financial planning and investment.

The strategy provides the necessary direction to increase Police Scotland’s operational capacity and broaden its operational capability to respond to emerging threats and demands.

Following SPA ratification, Police Scotland will begin the next phase of work to take forward the strategy by developing its implementation plan for the next three years, with the SPA holding Police Scotland to account for delivery through its governance and oversight structures.

Police Scotland will manage this through a transformation programme management and support function funded by the Scottish Government. This will enable oversight of the extensive activity needed to deliver the strategy bringing together both new and existing areas of work. For example, progress has been made in response to cyber threat, but there is much more to do to increase future capacity and capability. The strategy also outlines the change needed to improve the response to individual need through a new way of assessing threat, risk, harm and vulnerability. 

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “The time is now right for Police Scotland to become a fully unified and sustainable organisation. This strategy will enable us to meet the challenge of policing 21st century Scotland and modernising our support structures.

“Recent events such as the horrifying attacks in Manchester and London and cyber attack on the NHS reinforce the need for a modern police service with the flexibility to adapt and transform to meet such complex and growing threats and demands. 

“The strategy has been endorsed through public consultation and with the approval of the Board, we will get on with the job of delivering the improvement and change that we all recognise is needed. It is vital that we continue to work closely with our partners, public and staff as we do this.”

Andrew Flanagan, Chair of the SPA said: “Every organisation needs a long-term vision and direction, and a plan for how to achieve it within the resources available to it. The 2026 strategy, and the implementation plans to come, give us that.

“However, a public service as vital as policing needs more than that. It requires also to inspire confidence and it needs to operate with consent. The unprecedented consultation exercise that we mobilised, and the enthusiastic and considered response that was generated, has now provided assurance that we have both. That is a solid platform on which to build, and public confidence and consent will remain at the forefront of our minds as we move into implementation and the choices that lie ahead.”

The full strategy document can be found at the following link on the SPA website: 

Policing 2026 - Our 10-year Strategy for Policing

Policing 2026 - Gaelic Version