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2021-22 Annual Report and Accounts for policing published

Published : 27/10/2022 15:18:20

The Scottish Police Authority has published its 2021-22 Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) which have received a clean bill of health from Audit Scotland.

The accounts cover the reporting year to 31 March 2022 and confirm that policing managed its finances during 2021-22 within the budget set by the Authority.

Financially, the revenue outturn position for the year was an authorised overspend of £3.5m due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID19 in December 2021.  This followed the return of £6.2m of COVID funding to the Scottish Government in year.

The capital outturn for the year was £58.1m, underspent by £0.1m against the £58.2m of funded expenditure due to delays in some transformation projects.

The reform outturn budget was underspent by £2.1m due to lower levels of spend associated with staffing, delays and programme amendments across a number of transformational projects.

The amount spent on policing (excluding COP26 costs) during the year is detailed below:  

  • £1,188.7m Revenue - Police Scotland
  • £35.6m Revenue - Forensic Services
  • £4.2m Revenue - SPA Corporate
  • £58.1m Capital across all policing
  • £22.9m Reform across all policing

The Authority’s annual report includes an assessment of the performance of Police Scotland, Forensic Services and the Authority’s Corporate function. The performance assessment has been informed by the Authority’s oversight of policing, the views of local authorities, COSLA and the public’s views of policing during the pandemic.

Speaking about the Annual Report and Accounts, Martyn Evans, Chair of the Authority said:

 “The Authority’s Annual Report and Accounts confirm the financial outturn for 2021-22 was as budgeted and reported throughout the year. Achieving financial sustainability has been a priority for the Board and we remain committed to maintaining this in the years ahead.

“This was another remarkable period for policing in Scotland. As we emerged from the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, restrictions began to ease, movement increased, ‘new normal’ ways of working were rolled out and policing activity began to return to pre-pandemic levels. Throughout this, policing continued to support, encourage, and where required enforce compliance with stringent public health laws.

“November 2021 also saw the successful policing of a safe and secure COP26, the largest international event in Scotland’s history. The performance of policing during 2021-22 was assessed as very good and consistent with public confidence and satisfaction in the service. We are very grateful to the hardworking officers, staff and scientists who delivered a service that protected and promoted all our safety and wellbeing over the period.”

Lynn Brown, Chief Executive and Accountable Officer for policing added:

“I am delighted that Audit Scotland has again issued an unqualified opinion of the Authority accounts for the 2021-22 year. The Authority and Police Scotland remain committed to continued improvement in the years ahead.”


The Authority’s Annual Report and Accounts detail how £1.3 billion of public funds has been spent to deliver policing and forensic services to communities across Scotland.

Link to the SPA’s Annual Report and Accounts 2021-22

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 requires an annual review of policing to be produced each year. This is included in the Authority’s Annual Report and Accounts.

The Authority has primary responsibility for ensuring the proper financial stewardship of a budget in excess of £1.3 billion and is responsible for establishing effective arrangements for governance that enables the successful delivery of its objectives.