About Police Scotland
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 with 23,000 officers and staff working together for the people of Scotland.
Our 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 and with human rights at the heart of everything we do.
The Service will be led by Chief Constable Jo Farrell when she takes up post on 9 October. Deputy Chief Constable Designate Fiona Taylor QPM is taking on the responsibilities in the interim period, following Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone’s retirement on 10 August.
The Chief Constable is 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 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 are located at Tulliallan Castle in Fife, also home to the Scottish Police College.
Police Scotland has established a reputation for successfully and safely policing major international events, including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate change summit in 2021.
COP26 required one of the largest policing operations in the United Kingdom’s history with up to 10,000 officers deployed during a 25 day operation, across 62 venues with 40,000 visitors to Scotland, including 128 world leaders.
Police Scotland played an important role to ensure significant events following the death of Her Majesty The Queen were held safely, securely and with dignity.
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.
Local policing delivery is at the heart of our service and 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 is responsible for maintaining policing, promoting policing principles and the continuous improvement of policing in Scotland.
Read the Annual Policing Plan 2023-24
Read the accessible version of the Scottish Police Authority's Joint Strategy 2023-2026.