Response 653378429

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Risks

1. Does the Policing 2026 strategy identify and acknowledge the main risks, challenges, opportunities and demands likely to impact on policing over the next 10 years?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Not sure
We would welcome any view you have.
This response is made by East Lothian Council officers. Very well-explained and laid out. Changes in the way society operates will necessitate a change in Policing. In particular, the move towards more community involvement exemplified in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 means that all public sector agencies must involve and consult and engage with communities. In relation to the risks set out in the strategy, we would recommend inclusion of the risk that the vision is not delivered; this in itself is a risk that should be addressed

Focus

2. Do you agree the main areas of focus proposed within the Policing 2026 strategy are the right ones to deliver an enhanced policing service?

Please select one item
Strongly agree
Ticked Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
Please tell us why you think these are the right or wrong areas of focus?
There is no doubt that vulnerability (whether due to age, living alone, mental health, economic status) will require even greater focus as the population grows older, more people are living alone and there are greater resource restrictions on public service provision.

Methods

3. Do you agree the methods proposed within this strategy are the right ones to deliver an improved policing service?

Please select one item
Ticked Strongly agree
Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
Please tell us why you think this is the right or wrong approach?
Collaborative working with other partners is the way forward, as is determining priority and risk measurements in order to direct resources In relation to investing in information and technology, we would particularly like to see a focus on the approach to CCTV, which is such an important resource in our communities. CCTV has developed over the years in an incremental way with no clear funding framework. Much of the equipment currently operating is becoming out of date but there is no clear approach for reinvestment and funding for this service on which Police Scotland are so heavily reliant. There needs to be a focus on securing a nationally-agreed approach with partners so this service can receive the investment and renewal necessary to keep CCTV fit for purpose. We think there is scope to develop national CCTV technology standards and define a national funding framework. Bearing in mind that not all residents will have access to the internet or the requisite IT skills, Police Scotland should plan to continue to provide a range of communication options for residents.

Performance

4. The Policing 2026 Strategy states that public confidence will be a key measure of success and the effectiveness of Police performance. Do you agree with this approach?

Please select one item
Ticked Strongly agree
Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
We would welcome any views you have
We agree that public confidence is key. In this regard, Police Scotland must give full attention to engagement with local communities, and reflect local priorities in Local Policing Plans. This is central to tackling many of the challenges we face moving forward, and will help strengthen community resilience. In turn this will likely mean that Police Scotland need to provide far more information on what they are doing. The statistics in the consultation paper were very meaningful: e.g. only 20% of incidents result in a crime being recorded; information on the numbers of people who go missing. Media reports tend to focus on the role of the police in crime fighting, as opposed to the focus needing to be on positive engagement, prevention and broader public protection. It will probably take a long time to alter people’s perception of the role of the Police, and this is something that needs to be carefully and methodically addressed. Collaborative working will assist with this, and joint working should have greater success as a result.

Workforce

5. The Policing 2026 strategy highlights that we will need to re-shape our organisation with a workforce focussed on having the right skills and capacity to meet future challenges. Do you agree with this approach?

Please select one item
Strongly agree
Ticked Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
We would welcome any views you have.
In reviewing their services, it is extremely important that Police Scotland consult fully with partners and communities. In particular, we would want to see a recognition that “cost-shunting” (ceasing to deliver a service resulting in the cost then having to be borne by another public service) should be avoided. We would like to see some thinking around the value of local assets to local communities; we consider that Police Scotland, as a Community Planning Partner, should make the resources resulting from asset disposal (of whatever nature) available within the local community, either for policing purposes or more broadly, to achieve jointly-agreed local objectives. Workforce development is key, but if policing is to focus on community work, it is important that there is sustainability of local knowledge and experience. This is a challenge at present, as officers are routinely moved away from the geographical area and communities they have come to know and understand. This issue needs attention, to address the current situation but also so that a more “agile” workforce does not lose any ability to connect with communities through the acquisition and use of very important local knowledge. The example of a special constable is very interesting and may bring more people into policing than might have considered it previously. We would like to see this idea developed: for example, could this role be linked to existing public sector roles?

Clear & Understandable

6. Is the strategy presented in a clear and understandable way?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

Other views

7. We would welcome any additional views you have on our strategy and how it will affect you, or any other person.

We would welcome any views you have.
In general we welcome the proposals in the document, but it is very important that local commanders continue to have responsibility for prioritising local issues, and we would like to see Police Scotland committing to this principle. East Lothian Council has developed a good working relationship with local police officers over many years and this has been central to making our communities safer places in which to live and work. We commend the collaborative working already taking place between local officers and the Council’s Safer Communities Team, with the joint Mid- and East Lothian Public Protection Unit, and within the East Lothian Partnership. We are also keen to move forward with the proposal to co-locate the police station with our Council HQ in Haddington. The real benefits come from the sharing of information and knowledge, and hopefully similar models will continue to be established. In relation to partnership working, we would like to see the Strategy referring to new responsibilities under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, in particular the need for local commanders to engage actively with the development of Local Outcome Improvement Plans and also with Locality Plans.

About you

8. What is your name?

Name
Redacted textDepute Chief Executive (Partnerships and Community Services)

10. Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
I am answering as an individual
Ticked I am answering on behalf of an organisation
Organisation Name
East Lothian Council