Police Scotland to make officers' welfare one of new priorities

The welfare of officers is high up on the priorities' list for Police Scotland for the next six years
The welfare of officers is high up on the priorities' list for Police Scotland for the next six years
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Police Scotland's priorities for the next six years have been revealed, with a new emphasis on the welfare of staff and officers.

The areas of priority identified by the police force are detailed under the umbrella categories of crime and security, confidence, partnerships, sustainability, people and evidence in its Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland document.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf

In the section titled People, Police Scotland says it wants to support and empower a diverse group of staff "with a focus on workforce development and overall well-being".

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As part of its sustainability focus, the force aims to consider "the environmental impact of policing and its operations", while the confidence section calls for "ethical, open and transparent" behaviour to build public trust.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: "These priorities reflect the broad remit of policing, from crime prevention and investigation to our crucial, but contributory, role in improving the wider well-being of communities.

"I am committed to relentlessly improving how we reflect, engage with and serve our communities, ensuring we uphold our values of human rights, fairness, integrity and respect.

"Reform has helped to maintain responsive and visible local policing in our communities and transformed how serious crime and major incidents are dealt with while policing is asked to deliver around £200 million of annual savings compared to legacy arrangements."

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He added: "To deliver these strategic priorities, it is vital policing is able to invest in core infrastructure.

"These improvements will support our people and enable them to meet a wide range of challenges, from sustainability to emerging crime threats."

Commenting on the plans, which were devised following consultation with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority, justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: "The strategic priorities seek to promote continued engagement with communities, securing the public's confidence in their police service while strengthening both local and national partnerships such as those already in place to tackle violence and to improve the response to people in mental health crisis.

"There is a specific priority for workforce development and well-being, given officers and staff are the service's greatest asset."

He added: "The justice committee carried out a major inquiry that recognised significant achievements since Police Scotland's creation, including new national capabilities and improvements in how rape and sex crime is investigated.

"This year, Police Scotland played a key role in the implementation of new domestic abuse laws, while also introducing mobile technology to keep officers in local communities and strengthening its system for handling calls from the public.

"Building on such progress, the new priorities will inform the future direction of Scotland's highly valued police service."

The vice-chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, David Crichton, said: "These revised priorities set a clear, high-level direction for policing in Scotland which will ensure policing is responsive to changes in demand and continues to strengthen local and national partnerships.

"They will now inform a refreshed Strategic Police Plan, which the SPA has a responsibility to develop in consultation with the chief constable and we expect to launch for public consultation in the new year."