Police Scotland was established on 1 April 2013 and is responsible for policing across the whole of Scotland, some 28,168 square miles, covering a third of the United Kingdom’s landmass with a unique range of urban, rural, island and remote communities.
It is the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police with a workforce of 23,000 officers and staff working together for the people of Scotland.
Police Scotland’s purpose is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities in Scotland, focusing on Keeping People Safe in line with our values of Integrity, Fairness and Respect.
The Service is led by Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM, supported by a command team of three Deputy Chief Constables, a Deputy Chief Officer, Assistant Chief Constables and Directors.
There are 13 local policing divisions, each headed by a Chief Superintendent who ensures that local policing in each area is responsive, accountable and tailored to meet local needs. Each division encompasses response officers, community officers, local crime investigation, public protection and local intelligence.
The local policing divisions are supported by a number of national specialist divisions. The Specialist Crime Division (SCD) provides investigative and intelligence functions such as Major Crime investigation, Public Protection, Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Safer Communities.
The Operational Support Division (OSD) provides specialist support functions such as Road Policing, Firearms, Public Order, Air Support, Marine Policing, Dogs and Mounted Branch, as well as Emergency and Events Planning. These national divisions ensure every community in Scotland has access to specialist policing services.
Calls from the public are handled by our Contact, Command and Control Division with Area Control Rooms at four locations across the country which deploy resources.
Our people are supported by corporate functions including People and Development, Finance and Corporate Communications.The headquarters of Police Scotland is based at the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, in Fife.
Police Scotland has established a reputation for successfully and safely policing major international events, including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow has also been chosen to host the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties next November. This will be will be one of the biggest events ever hosted in Britain, with up to 200 heads of state attending as well as thousands of attendees.
The strategic outcomes in our Annual Police Plan are aligned to the national outcomes and strategic police priorities set by the Scottish Government and Policing for a safe, protected and resilient Scotland, Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority’s Joint Strategy for the future of Policing.
Investment in our digital, data and ICT capability is a key component of our approach to change and enablement. A blueprint for investment in technology of around £300m over 10 years now been produced. It outlines how we will transform Police Scotland into an organisation capable of delivering 21st century policing and address the system weakness faced by our officers and staff which Police Scotland inherited from legacy structures.
Local policing delivery is at the heart of our service and, as part of the change process, Police Scotland is committed to providing the best of local policing supported by the strength of the national service.
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) was established at the same time as Police Scotland and it is responsible for maintaining policing, promoting policing principles and the continuous improvement of policing in Scotland.
Read the Annual Policing Plan 2021-22 (PDF).
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