National Conversation About Our Estate

Closes 31 Jul 2024

Opened 14 Dec 2023


We are inviting everyone to join our National Conversation about our estate. 

This forms part of our wider engagement activity to listen to the feedback and views of everyone about our proposed estate changes and progress we have made so far towards our Estate Strategy, published in 2019. 

BSL video - Overview


Our long term estate vision

In the future we will have an estate that... 

  • Visibility and presence: Maximises local visibility and presence driving highest possible confidence levels in community policing. 
  • Wellbeing focus: Provides significantly improved user experience through fit for purpose workspaces driving smarter working and improved well-being.
  • Collaboration: Enables integrated cross-agency services through co-locating with local partners driving better services and cost reduction. 
  • Biodiversity consideration: Supports our duty to biodiversity driving reduced environmental impact across all sites and incorporating biodiversity initiatives covering strategic and operational processes. 
  • Productive and mobile: Enables our people to be empowered and productive, working from modernised well-serviced workspaces driving digitally-enabled processes, mobility, shared corporate services. 
  • Economics optimised: Facilitates maximum income and reciepts to be reinvested from commercial and surplus assets driving enhanced future estate and policing services in local communities. 
  • Cultural change: Facilitates co-location within the community driving an embedded service which enables a joint working ethos and ends 'us' and 'them' silos. 
  • Commercial innovation: Is financed through commercially innovative approaches e.g. Joint Ventures, Third Party Income and Gain Shares driving best value outcomes and improved policing for local communities. 
  • Strong governance: Is supported by a strong central governance framework with appropriate delegation driving aligned and transparent timely decision-making and delivery of estate change programme. 
  • Optimised, modernised estate: Provides a smaller, more efficient local operation driving improved responsiveness to community demand, accessible public interface and fit for purpose facilities. 
  • Empowers: Empowers Divisional Commanders, within a national governance framework, to design and implement effective estate solutions in a timely manner driving accelerated improvement. 

What does estate transformation mean for policing in the future?

Our estate transformation will be achieved through working with our local partners, enabling Divisional Commanders to lead the planning of their Divisions. 

In doing so, our Local Policing Divisions will listen, understand and respond to the concerns of communities, partners, and colleagues. 

Today  In the future
309 sites consisting of 329 buildings – too many buildings with locations/layouts driven by legacy not existing/future organisational need A working environment much more conducive to the well-being of colleagues
Around 80% owned and limited co-location/collaboration (over 90% standalone from other agencies) The number of properties that we own and solely occupy will decrease significantly
100+ buildings poorer than condition B (i.e. considered safe with minor deterioration) Many activities will transfer to modern facilities co-located with partners; or partner agencies working alongside us in our accommodation
200+ buildings over 40 years old – many approaching end of life Geographical footprint and our visibility/presence will improve (i.e. the number of locations/contact points will not change overall and our presence will improve)
Negligible spend on lifecycle maintenance (£9 per sq m compared to Government benchmark of £120 per sq m) leading to buildup of significant backlog maintenance and cost A significant reduction in our floor space via transferring to space efficient, well-utilised modern facilities and the introduction of Smarter Working principles (working from home for eligable roles)
Unsuitable for digitally-enabled working and limited ability to support workforce/ workplace development Owned properties restricted to business critical circumstances
Facilities to support colleague well-being not available as standard Digitally enabled, flexible workspaces supporting colleagues to do their jobs well

Frequently Asked Questions

BSL video - FAQs


Why are you disposing of these police stations - is this part of a centralisation agenda?

No, this is part of the delivery of our Estate Strategy which was approved in 2019 by the Scottish Police Authority.

Policing should be responsive to current and future needs and part of this is ensuring we have our staff located in the areas where they are needed most. Centralisation of services has played no part in our decision making process when we have identified which offices should be considered for disposal.

Police Scotland inherited a large estate which was based on legacy arrangements.  This estate was developed over a significant period of time when demands on policing were very different from current and anticipated future demands.

The demands facing policing and the public expectation of policing in Scotland has evolved over time and will continue to evolve, however the estate which is crucial to the delivery of policing services, has not evolved and has largely remained as is. 

How has a decision been made to dispose or retain buildings?

We are proposing to dispose of the stations highlighted. The review was done at a local level with divisional commanders and looked at a number of factors including local demand and where local resources could be located to continue to provide policing services.

We understand and are sensitive to community concerns around changes involving police buildings and as we bring forward proposals we will engage and consult with the public.

Local engagement will be based on an assessment of the impacts of the service change to the public and local community and will be developed with Divisional Commanders – and with consideration of Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act. 

Is the decision to dispose of properties purely driven by a financial agenda?

At the heart of our proposal is the desire to meet the needs of our communities and ensure that we have our staff located in the right locations. The review of the Police Scotland estate was conducted to ensure that the estate is fit for purpose and reflects the changing nature of policing and can support service delivery to local communities. That being said, hard choices are being taken to deliver effective policing within the revenue budget available to us and we are now accelerating plans to dispose of a number of police stations across the country.

In a challenging financial time we have to give consideration to reducing unnecessary expenditure. The majority of the stations being considered for disposal are not fit for purpose and have significant running costs. This is not a sustainable position.

How many police buildings are there across Scotland? How many are operational stations?

Police Scotland has 309 sites, consisting of 329 buildings, of which 306 buildings are operational police stations.

Many operational stations are in disrepair, are not open to the public or have low levels of public use, and some have very few officers and/or staff based in them.

How many staff will be affected by the proposed disposals and from which departments?

The number of staff/officers affected by the proposed closures is around 2,500. This includes police staff and functions such as Criminal Justice, Specialist Crime, Operational Support, local policing response teams and community policing teams.

What criteria was applied to identify properties as ready for disposal?

When reviewing their estate, each Division considered a number of factors including the demand for service from relevant locations and where resources need to be deployed from to enhance service delivery. We have identified that many of our buildings no longer meet current operational requirements.

Which stations are currently occupied and how many staff are based there?

The premises considered for disposal or lease termination which are currently occupied are outlined on this page

Will there be any staff losses as a result of the review of the police estate?

We will consult with Trade Unions and staff to understand the proposed moves and what it might mean for them.  Similar engagement will be held with statutory staff associations for operational staff.

Will buildings identified be sold, if so, where is the money going?

At this time, no decision has been made on what will happen to buildings considered for disposal. This will form part of our engagement process with partners and our communities.

What impact will the disposal of Police Stations have on local communities?

Like many organisations, the way the public interacts with us has changed with the majority of requests for service coming to us via the telephone rather than by visiting a police station. It is important that we locate our staff in the areas where they are needed most. While reviewing our current estate, we have considered the level of service that is required at each location and the anticipated demand.

We have already introduced technology that enables our officers to remain in local areas, reducing the need for them to return to police stations to deal with paperwork.

We are committed to maintaining a presence within our local communities, through police officers being able to patrol and respond to community needs. There are a range of alternative approaches we can consider to meet the needs of our different communities.

Are you withdrawing from local communities?

No. The review of our estate is driven by a desire to meet the needs of our communities and ensure that we have our staff located in the areas where they are needed most. Like many organisations, the way the public interacts with us has changed with the majority of requests for service coming to us via the telephone rather than by visiting a police office. We are committed to maintaining a presence within our local communities, through police officers being able to patrol and respond to community needs.

What are the advantages of co-locating with partner agencies?

Our strategy seeks to move towards police stations co-located with partners where possible, to ensure services are delivered in the most efficient and effective way, driving improved integrated services to the public, particularly prioritising those most vulnerable.

We now have more than 60 co-locations with partners, providing more sustainable, more modern, and safer workspaces for our people.

We have great examples of successful partnerships in the North East, Perthshire, Forth Valley, and Ayrshire among others and this will continue to be an important part of ensuring policing in Scotland is sustainable.

Taking every opportunity to co-locate with partners is not only the best way to deliver savings to the public purse, it also facilitates more integrated and effective public services with better outcomes, particularly for the vulnerable in our society.

You said at the SPA Board in September that you wanted to dispose of around 30 properties. But now there are more, where have they come from?

The 30 properties previously communicated were part of a particular project, Project Falcon, however we also had other properties that Police Scotland is in the process of disposing that sit outside the scope of Project Falcon. In order to ensure transparency and avoid any confusion we are telling our officers, staff and the public about our wider plans for changing our estate. It has been agreed that all estates disposals currently planned are brought together within one project group which will deliver on this aspect of the estate strategy.

We are proposing the disposal of 59 police buildings over the next three years. Of these buildings:

  • 29 will now be going out for community and officers and staff engagement and consultation – these are the buildings we announced recently that would be coming forward for disposal.
  • 16 will be 'business-as-usual' disposals – all are either long term vacant or vacant because of a move to a new site which has already taken place. We will also be consulting on them through this platform.
  • 14 will be from future Estates Transformation projects which will see plans brought forward for Scottish Police Authority approval in due course. We will also be consulting on these changes through this platform.

We continuously review our estate as part of our normal business and this will continue. This includes considering opportunities for new ways of working with partners and assessing issues with the current estate that are no longer manageable. As part of this work, we may identify properties that are considered surplus and appropriate engagement and consultation is undertaken.   

Some other things you need to know

Your privacy and consent

Your response is anonymous and you will not be identified through the information you provide unless you choose to identify yourself in your responses. Any data that identifies you will be removed and not stored. 

At the end of the survey, we ask for personal details to ensure we receive a comprehensive range of responses. Please note that you do not have to answer these questions.

By completing this survey, you agree to Police Scotland using your anonymised data for analysis and reporting that will improve the service we provide.

Police Scotland is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We have robust procedures in place to ensure that any data that you provide is processed and stored securely. We will never pass any data that identifies you on to any third parties without your express consent. We also meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 (General Data Protection Regulation or 'GDPR').


Accessible formats

This information is also available in Easy Read. If you need this, you can download it from the bottom of this page.

Please contact us if you need to complete the survey in a different way. You might find helpful information on our accessibility page.

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