Recent articles in the media referring to the comments made by the chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) suggesting the public have lost the confidence in the police in Scotland are not only unhelpful, but plain wrong. Links have been made to policing scandals elsewhere in the UK that bear no relation to policing in Scotland. We operate under a different and unique legal system.
The laws of corroboration help reduce the likelihood of miscarriages of justice arising.
We act under the direction of the Lord Advocate in the investigation of crime. We have invested and continue to invest heavily in police recruitment, training, professional development and leadership.
Police conduct in Scotland is subject to oversight by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and from April by the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner.
Where there is misconduct or criminality in our ranks we tackle it. There is also clear evidence that the Scottish public, the Scottish Government and Scottish politicians of all parties value the commitment and professionalism of police officers and police staff in Scotland.
The police in Scotland are trusted; we earn that trust every day and value it highly. The new chair of the SPA still has a lot to learn about the relationship between the public and the police in Scotland.
His leadership in supporting the delivery of policing in Scotland is vital and he should avoid undermining those delivering it.
(Chief Superintendent) David O’Connor
President, Association of Scottish Police Superintendents