Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns about the SNP’s centralisation juggernaut after it was revealed Scotland’s national police force has created of a new central body charged with overseeing the force’s approach to road safety and road crime.
The Road Safety Governance Board, chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable from Crime and Operational support and comprised of members including COPFS, Transport Scotland, Road Safety Scotland and the Scottish Government Road Safety Strategic Partnership Board, is to provide “strategic oversight and consistency at national level.”
Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that the emphasis on a national strategy will alarm many communities who may already feel the police force is focused on meeting targets set by senior management instead of the needs of local communities.
Figures published earlier this week showed a 14 percent increase in the number of people convicted of traffic offences, to 40,258.
Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:
“It is concerning but sadly not surprising to learn that Police Scotland has absorbed more powers to the centre. The creation of a new central body charged with overseeing the force’s approach to road safety and crime on a Scotland-wide basis will do little to assure local communities that their needs aren’t being trampled over by the SNP’s centralisation juggernaut.
“I know that many people already feel the national force is focused on meeting targets set by senior management instead of the needs of local communities. Whilst sharing good practice is invaluable for effective policing, it is difficult to see how this national governing structure will not simply lead to the further erosion of local priorities. Scotland is a diverse nation and Police Scotland must provide assurances that their approach will reflect that.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The Chief Constable’s update to the SPA noted (our emphasis): http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/126884/261737/item17
Road Safety and Road Crime remains the number two policing priority highlighted by our
local communities and as such, every officer is required and expected to contribute to
Police Scotland’s efforts to reduce collisions and casualties across the country.
In order to focus and direct strategy and activity in this vital area of keeping people safe
and to ensure that we make best use of specialist resources when seeking to prevent
collisions, influence road user behaviour and reduce casualties, a new Road Safety
Governance structure has been created.
This new structure will provide strategic oversight and consistency at national level,
while area command and divisional boards will oversee local delivery of activity and
initiatives that address existing and emerging challenges and tackle local priorities.
Effective partnership working will remain the key driver of successful delivery of the
national strategy. The governance structure will therefore enhance collaboration with
external partners at both the national and local level.
The purpose and remit of the Road Safety Governance Board is to:
Provide strategic direction and oversight in respect of Road Safety & Road
Promote national consistency in terms of priority, tasking and access to
Promote local delivery and accountability in terms of the national strategy;
Promote local flexibility in meeting local existing or emerging issues and
Promote local ownership and appropriate tasking of both divisional and
specialist road policing resources;
Ensure that best practice is shared nationally;
Promote effective partnership working; and
Ensure successful performance and impact through the development and
implementation of appropriate tactics.
Similar terms of reference underpin the Area Command and Divisional Boards.
At Force level the Road Safety Governance Board is chaired by the Deputy Chief
Constable for Crime & Operational Support and meets on a quarterly basis. Its
membership includes many internal and external stakeholders i.e. COPFS, Transport
Scotland, Road Safety Scotland and the Scottish Government Road Safety Strategic
Area Command and Divisional Board membership will similarly include local senior
managers, specialist officers and staff and key local partners.
The first meeting of the force board took place on 17 November. Area boards are
expected to meet before the end of 2014 and divisional meetings will take place