Response 839584448

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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.
There is positive discussion and understanding within the strategy about the challenges and issues facing the populations of Scotland now and for the future. It is clear that a great deal of thought has been given to considering the changing nature of crime, of the needs of victims, and of the response required from the Police as an organisation. It is clear that the move towards working with vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged communities and supporting people with the issues they are facing is a much needed element of police work. We welcome the input police colleagues have into supporting vulnerable individuals with mental health or substance misuse issues, and this strategy supports this work further. From a mental health perspective it was good to see that this being factored in but we wonder about how it is represented at times. Examples of this are p22 – Crime and vulnerability – the right hand column begins with comment re 1 in 4 experiencing mental health issues then lists 1138 crimes. It could therefore appear that the two are being linked- this would be better to be altered. Would the order of that section be better as 1138 crimes, 158 domestic, 1 in 4 experience, 157 vulnerable adults? And again on p27 mental health crisis is at the top of the list and it is mentioned twice – is this one of the biggest challenges for the police service? If so could the strategy detail more what work could be developed to address this? We would certainly welcome this as partners in the care and support of individuals affected by mental health issues. We would also want to retain and develop the focus on alcohol, drugs and NPS, and this link to mental health, distress and risk. This is in terms of both individuals experience for vulnerable people, and for police workforce knowledge. In discussions with police and other partners we are clear that there is a need for frontline staff to have mental health awareness, to be suicide aware, and confident about approaching those situations. We welcome this within the police strategy but it would be useful to see this training and capacity building outlined in more detail, or to discuss how other partners could support this. As we have cross over in terms of vulnerable adults who use services, would it be possible to have something more specific about plans to link in with mental health/substance misuse services? There has been an increase in the mental health related incidents but is this linked to changes due to Adult Support and Protection? Is this not a significant change in legislation which has been impacting on the police and is not mentioned? If so, could this be detailed with more text around mental health needs. Additionally, the increased awareness of safety, and of cyber crime is based on sound evidence of crime and the changing nature of policing. We welcome the emphasis on data, on building knowledge through understanding crime in this way and in utilising technology. We are interested in whether Police Scotland are going to invest in a single system and in thinking through how to link in local areas to other databases and systems.

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?
We welcome the areas of priority, and the seven areas of focus, especially localism and prevention. We feel that these areas of focus will enhance police role both nationally and locally, and will allow the policing role to develop and be visible across communities. Please see above for comments specifically relating to mental health. In discussions with police and other partners we are clear that there is a need for frontline staff to have mental health awareness, to be suicide aware and confident about approaching those situations. We welcome this within the police strategy, and the increase in collaborative working mentioned throughout the document.

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
Strongly agree
Ticked Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
Please tell us why you think this is the right or wrong approach?
It is clear that there is a need to continue developing the methods Police Scotland adopt to deliver an appropriate and useful and effective police force. That there will be shift in staffing and resources to meet the changing needs around crime, and to develop better responses in terms of prevention and support of vulnerable individuals, is welcomed. We would also want to see a focus on the police workforce as well, to ensure access to supporting their staff too. This is relevant on for example P11. Wellbeing of the staff is mentioned on p15. These officers will witness trauma and may at times also be assaulted physically or verbally – they need regular support and the ability to gain support when they need it. Officers who have attended our services will tell us that they are just expected to get on with it and they can feel they cannot admit when something is wrong. It is important in a visionary strategy such as this to understand and support the officers who will be delivering the change, and who will be embedded within localities and communities where vulnerable people live and are known to police services.

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
Strongly agree
Ticked Mostly agree
Not sure
Mostly disagree
Strongly disagree
We would welcome any views you have
It is heartening to see that Police Scotland are taking such a reflective approach around performance. It is welcomed that understanding what people’s and communities perceptions and relationship is with the police force, and with police officers in localities is important to the measures of success. There will already be a wide variety of awareness around the police role, and the confidence in the police service. Building confidence within communities and with families and individuals will be a positive development for the Police Scotland workforce.

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.
Please see earlier comments about mental health- it is really significant that a lot of police time is spent supporting vulnerable or distressed individuals and ensuring the personal safety of some of these people. It will be critical that all of the police workforce is given relevant up to date and regular training around key issues- for example mental health, community involvement, supporting vulnerable adults, etc. That the strategy has a focus on collaborative working will also help to address this element. Many partners- NHS, social care, third sector, work with an ethos of supporting individuals and communities to develop positively, to enhance their skills and build positive identities. Police Scotland are able to utilise the skills and knowledge of these partner organisations, and to keep building a workforce focussed on continuing to have the right skills Good to see throughout the document a focus on building communities and their resilience to help themselves- this will need to be the ethos and working method for police officers at every level. This again will be enhanced with partnership working and developing prevention and inclusion as key pillars of police work.

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.
For professionals working in the field of health or social care, the strategy is well laid out, uses clear examples and has the information in a well presented way. For those less familiar with this area, the strategy would be a challenging read. It is very text heavy, and the use of examples and pictures which is helpful are after many pages. It would be useful to have an easy read version. If the strategy is to be used within partnerships locally, to develop local action plans or to use while developing work, then it would be useful to have more examples within the document for what this might look like in action. It is very useful to have the first three years as a time point. It will be important to be able to reflect on success and keep developing as priorities change over the coming decade.

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.
Just to reiterate these points, as they were the most strongly felt by those contributing to this consultation- That having focus on prevention, inclusion and collaborative working is welcomed That the focus on localism gives a sense of action and meaning for the local partnerships that already exist, and the strategy will be a useful tool in bringing to the groups with police involvement. The focus on use of analytics/data/technology is really helpful, and with this comes an understanding that it is important to consider the changing nature of crime and the changing nature of being a victim. That building on the already excellent workforce development undertaken by Police Scotland to improve knowledge and response to mental health and other health needs is welcomed as partners within care.

About you

8. What is your name?

Name
Alex McMahon

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

Please select one item
(Required)
I am answering as an individual
Ticked I am answering on behalf of an organisation
Organisation Name
NHS Lothian, Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board