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Serving a Changing Scotland

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.

To address this, Serving a Changing Scotland was established in 2016 by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland to develop a strategic response to meet the emerging and projected needs of our communities over the next decade, and to enable the police service to become operationally and financially sustainable.

Following public consultation, and ratification of the strategy by the SPA board in the summer, Police Scotland is now responsible for taking forward the changes needed to deliver this vision.

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

Serving a Changing Scotland: Implementation plan 2017-2020

In December 2017, Police Scotland published an implementation plan for the first three year period which describes our priorities and how we will go about the first stages of this transformation.

It sets out how we will give our officers and staff the tools, resources and support they need to continue to keep people safe and to develop our organisation and our workforce.

To read the plan, please click here.

Some elements of the plan include:

  • investing £3.6m in expanding our specialist cyber provision with new hubs in the north and west, and rolling out cyber kiosks around the country for local officers to triage devices
  • purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles, primarily for remote and rural use to aid searches for missing people
  • piloting a range of mobile devices for operational use, enabling officers to access core systems and applications away from base
  • responding appropriately to the needs of individuals and communities by developing a new contact and resolution model based on an assessment of risk and vulnerability and with a continued commitment to localism
  • enhancing our response to risk and vulnerability through a new contact assessment model and work with partners
  • a public consultation on the use of body worn video
  • increasing automatic number plate recognition coverage, intelligence and capabilities
  • investing in our workforce wellbeing, modernising staff pay and reward, and introduction of a new leadership strategy
  • developing an operating model for corporate support services, providing consistently high levels of service and access

This plan was originally presented to the SPA Board in December 2017, with the updated version above presented in May 2018. This includes a year one update, additional information about financial benefits, and how this aligns with key performance indicators.

A three-year financial plan to support the implementation was approved at the SPA Public Board Meeting on 2 May 2018.

Public consultation

Our strategy was developed through a nationwide consultation that ran between February and May 2017. Read more about the consultation:

Read more about the consultation

Our ten year strategy - Serving a Changing Scotland

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

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