Policing 2026 - Protecting People From Harm


Hello, I am Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins, Service and Protection lead for Police Scotland. 

This the 10th and final week of the Policing 2026 consultation, focuses on protecting the public from harm.

Abuse and exploitation can affect people regardless of age, gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion and race. The impact can be devastating, often with lifelong consequences.

Child abuse or neglect; human trafficking; domestic abuse or sexual crime is often hidden, whether behind closed doors; as a result of coercion or control or, due to evolving technologies, or facilitated through digital platforms.

Protecting or supporting those most at risk of harm and investigating and managing those who pose the greatest risk of harm is complex and challenging. Ultimately we want to prevent such crimes occurring but we can’t achieve this alone. Protecting people from harm is not just about policing; it is the responsibility of every one of us, across all of Scotland’s communities.

Policing 2026 is our draft strategy to transform our service to manage the changing demands on policing more effectively.

There is still time to get involved in the consultation, make your views known and help inform our approach to the changing demands on policing.

This includes how we can further work in partnership to prevent abuse and exploitation happening; ensuring concerns are identified early and supporting and protecting those most at risk of harm.

We want to identify those who seek to abuse and exploit others at the earliest opportunity.

As a society we don’t like to think about abuse, whether of children or adults, much less talk about it. It is important that we do. 

We are asking you to think about this and share your views as to how you think we can develop new partnerships or further strengthen existing partnerships within communities to allow us to work together towards that ambitious goal of eradicating abuse and exploitation in Scotland.