on Monday April 1, Grampian Joint Police Board, ((GJPB) along with Grampian Police, was disestablished. Policing in Scotland will now be delivered by Police Scotland, and its governance and accountability will be the responsibility of the Scottish Police Authority.
For the last 13 years, the Grampian Joint Police Board has had the important role in scrutinising the way that Grampian Police has operated.
The Board, made up of councillors from Aberdeen City, Shire and Moray, has taken responsibility for setting the annual police force budget, appointing senior officers and monitoring the conduct of senior officers.
The GJPB has been recognised by Audit Scotland as delivering the `Best Value` performance across Scottish Police Forces due to the vigorous way they robustly scrutinised the force and questioned the Chief Constable on his strategic plans and police performance.
Westhill Cllr Ron McKail as the 4th and last Convenor of the GJPB said: “the service provided under Grampian Police is in an extremely healthy state, thanks to the efforts of all those working in the force, led by the Force Executive under the command of Chief Constable Colin McKerracher. The north-east of Scotland is regarded as the safest place in which to live, work and visit, according to various independent surveys carried out by Citizens Panels and this reinforces the success that the Force has had in reducing criminal activity and reducing road accidents and fatalities”.
Grampian Police and GJPB have worked hard to leave the north-east of Scotland with a legacy which will ensure the continuation of good policing in this area.”
That legacy included supporting the Chief Constable in his drive to recruit police cadets, Special Constables and additional police officers, a 60 cell custody suite in Aberdeen, new office in Buckie, planning permission to build replacement police office in Peterhead as well as ensuring the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme undertaken by volunteers is fit for service.
The GJPB and the Force have been involved in ongoing dialogue with the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority and the Chief Constable of Scotland, to ensure that, the move has been as smooth as possible.
Cllr Ron McKail commented that “I am confident that policing in the north-east is built on a strong foundation and it is because of this that under Police Scotland the public will be unaware of any policing changes. Locally it will be the same Commanders for the Aberdeen and Moray Division and for that of Aberdeen. It will be the same officers who are policing our streets and our roads and it is these officers who will ensure that our communities are as safe in the future as they have been in the past”.