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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.
Orkney Islands Council agrees that the strategy identifies the main risks, challenges, opportunities and demands currently thought to be likely to impact on policing over the next 10 years. However, as the strategy itself notes on page 8, "Over the last decade society has changed and so has policing." We can expect the pace of change to continue, and any strategy formulated now will likely be outdated before 2026. A 10 year horizon is reasonable for long-term strategic planning purposes, provided it is revisited periodically, and is revised as frequently as circumstances may require.

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
Ticked Strongly agree
Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
Please tell us why you think these are the right or wrong areas of focus?
We agree these are the right areas of focus and acknowledge that Protection is a very high priority at present. In the longer term envisaged by this strategy, we feel that Prevention and Communities are likely to become more important, as indeed is reflected in the Key Tasks for your 2026 PC on page 39. The national shift in terminology from Criminal Justice to Community Justice , alongside the devolution of responsibility for community justice from eight regional bodies to 32 local partnerships , serves to illustrate this shift in emphasis . A shift towards prevention is a key element of public sector reform and is the area of focus where the priorities of policing and of community planning partnerships are most likely to gain from synergy and mutual support. The new Innovation focus is very welcome and will provide capacity to find new solutions to emerging issues which are likely to affect partner service providers as much as the police. For example, while Orkney currently has low crime levels, the Council is concerned at rising levels of cyber crime which presents an equal risk to Orkney as elsewhere .

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?
The methods proposed are good ones, and should be effective . Police Scotland will want to ensure it keeps to the spirit as well as the letter of the strategy. For example, there have in recent times been failures to consult local communities on significant strategic changes because they were wrongly considered to be operational in nature. lt is vital that Police Scotland should interact in a positive manner at all times with local communities and the people they represent. Proactive local communities can contribute to Police Scotland's work with a positive outcome for both.

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?

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Ticked Strongly agree
Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
We would welcome any views you have
lt is good to see an emphasis on public contact, engagement and service, as this is the area which has probably given rise to more difficulties for Police Scotland in its first few years of operation than any other. We particularly appreciate the way that Police Scotland work in our local schools in Orkney, instilling confidence from an early age. We are unclear what the strategy means by "we will work on the principle that police officers will perform operational roles" (page 32, repeated on page 33) and recommend this paragraph be rewritten so that the public can understand more clearly what is intended here

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
Ticked Strongly agree
Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
We would welcome any views you have.
Yes, this applies to any organisation seeking to remain relevant in the 21st century. While accepting that an increase in specialised capacity will be required in future, local capacity should be retained at current levels in small communities such as Orkney to ensure critical mass for an effective local police presence. We note with interest the statement on page 36 "We will invest in the continuous development of our whole workforce and create new routes to enter, exit and re-enter." There is already a well established route for staff to move from the police to other public services, notably on retirement, and this would appear to open the way for the traffic to be two-way in future and at all career stages. In a climate of ever-closer partnership and joint working , the boundaries of public sector services are starting to merge and there is scope for shared training and skills development, and for blended roles. Orkney Islands Council has long been interested in the potential for new modes of governance to facilitate closer working between the public sector services operating within the islands, possibly leading to a Single Public Service model and this is one strand of the forthcoming Islands Deal arising from the Our Islands, Our Future campaign shared by the three islands councils. We look forward to engaging with Police Scotland colleagues to explore the theme further in the context of this strategy.

Clear & Understandable

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
We would welcome any views you have.
The Executive summary and graphics up to page 17 are very clear. lt is not evident that much more is added by the remaining sections, which are quite repetitive and occasionally unclear, as already cited in the example above at question 4.

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.
One minor point is that we have had feedback that the use on page 27 of the "Elderly people crossing" road sign to represent older people is unhelpful. This graphic is already controversial and considered by many to be outdated and patronising, having been the subject of numerous campaigns by Age Scotland and others.

About you

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

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I am answering as an individual
Ticked I am answering on behalf of an organisation
Organisation Name
Orkney Islands Council