Specialist Crime Division is the dedicated command within Police Scotland which focuses on keeping people safe through work in six key areas:

  • Major Crime
  • Public Protection 
  • Local Crime 
  • Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism
  • Intelligence Support
  • Safer Communities, Support & Co-ordination

Specialist Crime Division:

  • supports local policing and keep people safe through the provision of access to national specialist investigative and intelligence functions.
  • provides equal access for communities to specialist policing.
  • is nationally co-ordinated and led but delivered locally in communities where threat and harm exists.
  • ensures public confidence in the police service through high quality, best-in-class investigations into serious crime. 
  • provides a flexible and highly responsive policing service on a local, national and international scale.
  • contributes significantly to the objectives of Police Scotland.


Major Crime

Major Investigation Teams (MITs) are located throughout Scotland and are responsible for leading the investigation of all murder inquiries and also lead on large-scale and complex criminal investigations. 

They are responsible for investigating cases within their own geographic areas of responsibility – but where required, will be able to be deployed anywhere in the country to respond to need and demand. 

Public Protection

The delivery of public protection arrangements locally, remains the responsibility of Local Police Commanders, through divisional Detective Superintendents, due to the importance of partnerships with other agencies on issues ranging from offender management and human trafficking to child protection, rape investigation and adult support and protection.

Local Crime

This department has responsibility for co-ordinating activity which targets crimes across each of Police Scotland’s 14 divisions through divisional Detective Superintendents who work closely with Local Police Commanders.

Intelligence Support

The management of intelligence and information which support national policing operations and local policing is critical to fighting crime. A national intelligence bureau works in conjunction with intelligence bureaux located in the East, West and North policing areas. Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism

Scotland has a combined command for targeting organised crime and dealing with counter terrorism matters. This is structured in teams located throughout the country which systematically target organised crime groups. 

Officers also work on helping to deliver Police Scotland’s response to the national Contest Strategy (UK Counter Terrorism Strategy) and national Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. The Border Policing Command and Fugitive Unit are also part of this Command.

The Border Policing Command delivers security at all of Scotland’s ports of entry and provides protective security functions for visiting VIPs. The Fugitive Unit is responsible for handling inquiries relating to people who have fled justice in Scotland and for assisting with investigations involving those from abroad to have sought safe here.

Safer Communities, Support & Co-ordination

This department is responsible for a wide range of prevention and intervention functions including violence and harm reduction.

Specialist teams deal with hate crime, prevention of violent extremism and diversion from organised crime.

The department develops and delivers a community engagement and public reassurance strategy to facilitate a consistent approach to the policing of Scotland’s diverse communities, with particular emphasis on more vulnerable groups.

Safer Communities maintains Strategic Partnerships with the Scottish Government and agencies such as Victim Support, Crimestoppers, the Scottish Business Crime Centre and many others.