The Scottish Government has today (Thursday 10 August) published the Evaluation of Police and Fire Reform: Year 2 Report.
Responding to the report's publication, a spokesperson for the SPA said:
"This evaluation report is a thoughtful and useful addition to the considerable body of research work that has built up around the reform of policing. While the report looks back at earlier experiences of reform, it identifies learning points that remain relevant and valid today and which have been acknowledged, and are being addressed, by the SPA and Police Scotland.
"There was an understandable focus in those early years on having a strong central grip on performance to ensure continuity of services to the public. Last year's HMICS annual report noted that and welcomed evidence of a subsequent move away from that initial culture and approach under the refreshed leadership of SPA and Police Scotland. The long-term 2026 strategy for policing agreed in June places a further emphasis on putting local approaches to policing at its heart, and that was strengthened further in the final strategy as a result of feedback from the unprecedented public consultation exercise.
"We are alive to the need to address any perception that local, frontline policing has diminished. HMICS also concluded last year that police performance remained strong and Police Scotland was better placed to deal with emerging demands and vulnerability within the population than the legacy services. We also firmly believe that the creation of the single service has been a major contributory factor in policing absorbing financial pressures.
"That pressure has also placed an acknowledged strain at time on our workforce. Further transformation to enhance operational capacity and organisational sustainability is required. The SPA has set clear expectations that engaging and supporting a trained, equipped and motivated workforce needs to be a central element in the implementation plan for that strategy, which is due to be considered for approval by the SPA in September."