As we continue to consult on our ten-year strategy Policing 2026, this week we look at the theme of A Fairer Scotland, which has a strong focus on human rights groups, refugee groups, poverty, homelessness, and national security. These themes have been placed together as they generally seek to protect the rights of individuals and promote fairness within society.
As with other themes of Policing 2026, we start by looking at what Scotland may look like in the future and what we think may change. It is predicted that the top 10 % of the population will earn more than the bottom 40% combined, and the terrorism threat will remain as ‘severe’.
Despite a changing world, our values of fairness, integrity and respect will remain constant, as will our commitment to a rights based approach to policing, which will be based on maintaining public consent. In order to develop with the times,
- We will make productive use of limited resources to create capacity to focus on prevention, addressing critical problems facing communities.
- We will continue to drive improvement across our approaches to detecting crime, protecting vulnerable people, responding to incidents, maintaining order and ensuring national security
- Our strategy will ensure that we continue to deliver these services effectively and efficiently while adapting to meet new threats and demands
One of the main aims is to promote community engagement and resilience, and work has already begun in this regard. This week, some of the events which took place included meetings with the organisations such as UNIS (Uniting Nations in Scotland) Refugee Support Group in Glasgow, Choose Life (Suicide prevention) in Dalkeith, Scottish Alliance Against Prejudice and Hate in Edinburgh, the Discussion Forum with Scottish Human Rights Commission in Fettes and the Forth Valley Local Resilience Partnership.
In addition, Assistant Chief Constable Graham and local community officers, PC Susan Purnell and PC Bruce Dinsmore attended to speak with staff at Social Bite, a sandwich shop chain which donates all profits to tackling social problems here and abroad. Zakia Moulaui and Gillian Drysdale from Streetwork held a discussion about Policing 2026, and how we can ensure that marginalised groups get their voice heard.
In the past week, we also visited Fresh Start, a charity that helps people that have previously been homeless by providing a range of support and services, and held a very productive meeting with staff members, volunteers and service users where we discussed the five priorities of the Strategy (Protection, Prevention, Communities, Knowledge and Innovation). On discussing prevention, the group agreed that that high visibility and targeted patrols for specific problems were crucial to both promoting community wellbeing and preventing crime.
There was a good discussion surrounding how to strengthen our partnerships with the third sector, including how Fresh Start can offer police officers the chance to engage with people who have been previously homeless. This will allow us to break down potential barriers and also a way to boost community relations and in turn, create a fairer Scotland.
Police Scotland staff have also been to speak to Young Scot and Youth Link about how we can best serve young people in the future, and we discussed many issues, in particular how to improve digital literacy and resilience amongst young people to help keep themselves safe and prevent crime.
You can read the full 2026 draft strategy here, and click here to Take Part in the Conversation.