Our Plan for Scotland

Traditional Scottish policing

Traditional Scottish policing

Policing by consent has always been the way that our police officers protect our communities.

With Police Scotland much of the discretion of the officers, local consensus and accountability has been lost and has been replaced by top down targets. We will restore traditional Scottish policing.

  • Include the concerns of rank-and-file police officers in our Public Service Leadership and Empowerment Act to enable them to exercise their professional discretion more effectively;
  • Define in statute the powers of the Chief Constable now that the traditional tri-partite system of Scottish policing has been ended;
  • Restore power to the Chief Constable and the Scottish Police Authority to determine the exact mix of staff required for effective policing;
  • Increase the funding for Police Scotland by £20 million, and protect it in real terms, to make sure that the failure of the Scottish Government’s centralisation to generate savings does not hit staff numbers;
  • Strengthen the role of the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to look into serious incidents, addressing the shortcoming in the present power to question police officers immediately after a serious incident;
  • Transfer control of the British Transport Police to Police Scotland but seek to retain the ring-fenced expertise of officers on transport related matters;
  • Request that the UK Government lifts the VAT obligation on Police Scotland, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, or allocates the proceeds back to the Scottish funding block, given that it has recently exempted a number of other UK bodies from paying VAT.