Policing 2026 is a collaborative and strategic programme of work established in 2016 by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland to provide a strategy for policing in Scotland to meet emerging and projected need over the next decade.

The strategy identifies ways to develop the range of policing services and increase the operational capacity of policing to focus on prevention and protection in the public, private and virtual space.

It sets out how Police Scotland can become a flexible and adaptable workforce to address new and changing demands and to improve outcomes for people, communities and places.

The strategy identifies the huge potential for new technology and new approaches to contribute to improved outcomes but recognises that these are not decisions for policing to take in isolation.

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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.

Chief Constable, February 2017

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Why are you doing this?

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Scottish policing has undergone major change and despite the challenges we face our communities have seen consistent and excellent local and specialist operational policing.

However, Scotland’s communities are growing and continuing to diversify. Demands on policing are increasingly focused towards addressing vulnerability and the consequences of inequalities.

Policing must evolve and we must continue to design our services around citizen and community needs. We need to focus on ensuring that we have the skills, tools and capacity to address future needs, rather the focusing on the size or structure of our organisation.


How will we do this?

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.


Public consultation

We sought views 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.

Read more about the consultation https://consult.scotland.police.uk/consultation/2026/

What’s next?

The final strategy was laid before Parliament on 20 June 2017, and ratified by the SPA Board on 22 June. Read the 2026 Strategy.

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.