Baker’s Bulletin - Rebuilding trust in Police Force

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Last week Scottish Labour submitted a list of key recommendations to the SNP Government’s review of policing after Scottish Labour Justice Spokesperson Graeme Pearson launched the Pearson outlining 10 key recommendations to rebuild trust and restore accountability in Scotland’s Police Force.

Graeme Pearson travelled across Scotland speaking to our communities and police staff listening to their concerns in order to shape the recommendations which have been submitted.

Included are proposals to improve Parliamentary oversight, ensure that resources meet local needs, enable better local oversight, a more robust SPA, an urgent review of IT infrastructure and the development of a full business case.

These recommendations aim to rectify some of the approaches that have been taken. An example of this is ensuring that there is appropriate local and national oversight from elected members would allow questions to be asked of strategic decisions on the effects they may have on our community policing. Building better links between the SPA and our local communities and allowing for meaningful scrutiny is crucial and is at the heart of the Pearson Review.

One of the most important recommendations is the need for a full business case. There should be an acknowledgement from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority that the absence of a full business case before the commencement of Police Scotland has created problems when taking forward a reform of this magnitude and that in order to provide clarity going forward this should be developed. We have seen cuts to funding our emergency services which have threatened community policing and it is important that this is avoided in the future.

This report aims to address some of the issues which have arisen since the inception of Police Scotland and I hope that the Scottish Government will recognise the issues and give these recommendations their full consideration. Failure to do so may result in the same mistakes being made in the future and further impact on the policing of our communities.