We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently asked you about and their outcomes.

We asked

Between June and September 2021, Police Scotland launched the second phase of their “Use of Body Worn Video” public engagement. This survey was intended to help shape Body Worn Video use by our police officers, operational staff and special constables when interacting with the public.

The purpose of the survey was to understand public views relating to the use of Body Worn Video, including any impact this might have for the public and police officers. It also aimed to help us understand any reservations the public might have relating to Body Worn Video and how we might introduce this alongside our broader Contact and Engagement Strategy, ensuring that we build both trust and confidence in Police Scotland.

We also conducted a number of focus groups with a range of relevant organisations and individuals, including women’s support organisations, asylum seekers, refugees and young people. This ensured they were involved in decision making process.

All of this was done with the aim of enabling an effective approach which puts human rights and the views and needs of individuals and communities at the heart of what we do.

You said

Our survey received 9,310 responses from individuals and organisations.

Responses highlighted clear support for Body Worn Video: 

  • The majority (82%, with 54% strongly agree, 28% agree) supporting the use of Body Worn Video by police officers, operational staff and special constables when engaged in police activities.
  • Most also agreed that the use of Body Worn Video would increase their feelings of trust (85%) and confidence (84%) in Police Scotland.
  • 71% of respondents agreed they would “always” feel safer knowing that their interaction with Police Scotland was being recorded by Body Worn Video, whilst 13% said they would feel safer “often”, and 8% said “sometimes”.
  • Most (77%) agreed with the use of clear guidelines for when Body Worn Video should be switched on and 61% disagreed that police officers, staff and special constables should be able to decide when Body Worn video is or is not used.

Focus groups highlighted general support for Body Worn Video, with participants discussing benefits of its use (for example, deterring crime). The need for clear guidelines was also emphasised by focus group participants, in addition to the need for transparency in Body Worn Video and footage use, so that the public can hold Police Scotland to account. The safety of victims, survivors of serious offences and witnesses of crime was also emphasised, suggesting situations where the use of Body Worn Video may not be appropriate. This shows that there needs to be balanced protocols which set out the control officers, staff and special constables have when using Body Worn Video devices.

We did

Your views have informed the decision making process, including helping to shape the development of our Code of Practice, as we move forward to the next steps. If funding is available in the future, the ability to issue Body Worn Video to police officers, operational police staff and special constables across Scotland, in a way that has been informed by meaningful public engagement, is something we're very proud of - thank you for taking part. 

We asked

In partnership with Victim Support Scotland, we sought views that would help us explore the ‘aftercare’ and referral process for individuals affected by crime in Scotland.

We carried out focus groups, depth interviews and a public survey which ran between 3rd June and 31st August 2021. These allowed us to gain views from our communities surrounding the Victim Care Card, the use of language in aftercare processes and potential opportunities for improvement.

All of this was done with the aim of enabling effective organisational responses which put the needs of individuals at the heart of what we do.

You said

Our survey received 492 responses, 82% of these respondents had experienced crime in the last two years, either as a victim or a witness. Of these, 47% shared they had been a victim of crime, 15% had been a witness of crime and 20% had been both a witness and victim of crime. The most common type of crimes experienced were assault, harassment and threats - affecting 109 respondents.

Responses to our survey highlighted key themes and issues that need to be addressed to improve the aftercare system for people affected by crime. These were:

  • Improvements to the Victim Care Card;
  • Communication needs; and
  • Use of language.

Victim Care Card

43% of respondents who had been a victim or witness of crime said they did not receive a Victim Care Card. 14% said they were offered the card and 5% could not remember.

It is important to consider that these findings were from a small number of respondents, therefore this does not necessarily reflect the experiences of everyone who has been affected by crime. However, responses still highlight main areas where we can drive change and improvement to ensure everyone affected by crime receives the best possible aftercare.

Respondents also highlighted that they would like to see changes to the formatting and layout of the card. Suggestions included:

  • Providing more relevant information on the card;
  • An inclusive and easy-read version for people who require further assistance; and
  • An electronic version of the card – with up to date digital information easily accessed online. Over half (57%) of respondents said this would be ‘extremely helpful’ or ‘helpful’.

Communication needs

Our interviews and focus groups highlighted issues around communication between services and people who use them, with some participants not feeling supported in their aftercare journey. Some shared feelings of isolation, particularly because they were not kept up to date with developments in their case. Overall, responses show that people would like to see a more cohesive approach to the aftercare system, particularly with support following the reporting of a crime being seamless and connected.

Use of language

Another area for consideration was the use of language, particularly when handling incidents with people affected by crime. Many respondents did not want to be identified as ‘victims’, especially due to a perceived stigma associated with the term, and called for a change in the language used around being affected by crime. Consensus was not reached on what a better term might be, with many also not associating with the term ‘survivor’.

Ultimately, language was strongly associated with how people feel they are perceived. Respondents stated that they just want to be treated like a person who has experienced something awful – and get the best help possible from police and support services to reduce the wider impact on their lives.

We did

Learning from the results of our work with our communities, we are taking the following actions:

  • Review of the Victim Care Card and the process of issuing cards to people who experience crime.
  • Review our aftercare policy which guides how police officers engage with people who have experienced crime directly, making best use of all referrals to organisations which meet people’s individual needs and circumstances.
  • Utilise new digital capabilities which help us understand referrals in different areas, with focused initiatives to support referrals to victim support services and increase uptake in areas where this is lower.
  • Engage public and third sector partners to ensure that findings from recent research on accessibility and formats of information provided by organisations is included in the steps we take.
  • We will also share the findings from this work with the Scottish Government and other agencies.

Police Scotland’s Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing Division are now leading all of this work to make improvements in the way we do aftercare.

Early insights have already been shared and discussed at a bi-annual event between Victim Support Scotland and Police Scotland. Results have also been shared with Police Scotland’s Strategic Leadership Board (which is where all Assistant Chief Constables, Deputy Chief Constables, Deputy Chief Officers and the Chief Constable discuss important issues for the organisation each month).

A full report will also be shared at Police Scotland’s next Public Confidence Governance Board later in 2021 and reported in the Quarter Three report to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee (this is publicly available and more information is available on the SPA website).  

We asked

Looking for our current LIVE Your Police survey? Click here. If you'd like to find out how we responded to what you told us last year, read on! 

In April 2020, Police Scotland refreshed its local policing survey to gather views from Scotland’s diverse communities. Your Police 2020/2021 remained open throughout the year (it closed on 5 April 2021) and helped us understand your opinions of policing in your local area, as well as enable you to tell us about any concerns affecting your safety or wellbeing in your local area.

Your feedback helped us make sure that our approaches to policing were fair, in terms of how we are managing the Coronavirus pandemic, and by supporting the communities that we serve.

If you missed your chance to take part in Your Police last year, don't worry; you can take part in our new Your Police 2021/22! Don’t miss out on your chance to have your say and let us know how we’re doing in your community.

You said

Strong levels of public confidence in the police was reported with the majority of people supporting our approach to keeping people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In total, we received 36,542 responses over 12 months, including over 100,000 free-text responses. There were 1,867 responses received in March 2021 – highlighting the continued dedication of local policing divisions in listening to the communities they serve.

In the main, people say they have confidence in us, with the average public confidence level for the period April 2020 – April 2021 being broadly consistent at 57%. Confidence levels among organisations who responded to Your Police (277 organisations) continues to be higher than average at 71%. 

We learned that things which effect public confidence include changes to Covid-19 transmission rates locally and nationally, local lockdowns (Protection Level 4) and the national lockdown which began in January 2021. We also know that events taking place in local areas that attracted a large police presence had an impact on public confidence. Public confidence exists across all of our 13 local policing divisions.

The majority of the people who responded to Your Police told us that they feel safe in their local areas – an average of 84% of people said they felt safe. This has remained the case throughout the past year. However, we know that fear about the spread, or potential spread, of Covid-19 sometimes made some people feel less safe.

Overall, 62% of those who took part in Your Police told us that police are friendly and approachable. 38% of people said that the police listen to the concerns of local people and 34% said the police deal with local issues. Throughout the year, a large number of the public said that they ‘don’t know’ when asked about these measures. This highlights an opportunity for us to enhance and expand our engagement within Scotland’s diverse communities.

46% of people told us their concern about crime had remained the same (as before April 2020). Three in ten people said that their concerns about crime had increased during the pandemic (30%), while around one in ten said it had decreased (14%). We know that people with disabilities and those who live in our most deprived areas have more concern about crime. This is very important to us.  

Generally, people’s concerns have included: social distancing breaches and antisocial behaviour (including at local beauty spots and public parks/greenspace), speeding and dangerous driving, house break-ins, drug taking, dealing and wider vulnerability concerns of relatives and neighbours. Greater engagement being required with children and young people, including those who support them - such as youth workers, teachers, and sports clubs - was also highlighted.

For more information, including graphs and other insights, are available here.

We did

Enhance local police presence at identified key locations (including scenic areas, parks, urban areas), with a focus on patrolling during the evenings and after dark. People told us a visible police presence was important in making them feel safe.


Update our local community partners on a regular basis, through local police scrutiny boards in each local authority area – using the data to design an appropriate policing response for local needs.


Shape our communications and advice in local areas in response to concerns and feedback from the public – helping people to stay safe (including from new scams arising during the pandemic) and be more aware of Scottish Government guidelines for their area.


Increase engagement with over 20 organisations, representing the interests of people with living with disability, to make sure our information and messaging is accessible for all. This ensured the police are awareness of the needs and challenges of everyone, including those living with physical, sensory and learning difficulties, in practicing social distancing and using face masks.



Include the needs and circumstances of people who may be more vulnerable in daily police officer briefings – ensuring the police engage appropriately and bring empathy and understanding to their interactions.




Provide information and advice on issues like hate crime, housebreaking and responsible use of vehicles (including off-road bikes and scooters) to reassure all communities.



Offer discreet and safe ways for the public to report a Covid-related incident and speak to a police officer using the latest tech. We also developed an online reporting form and used video calls to collaborate with our partner agencies in the public and third sector. We have also used tech to take part in community meetings and offer virtual diary appointments to make it easier for the public to speak to our officers.




Increase police patrols and information in areas where the public have raised concern about reckless driving and speeding.




Provide a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the Your Police survey.



Communicating via British Sign Language | RDaSH NHS ...



Used the insight we have gathered through Your Police to help shape our Annual Police Plan 2021/22 and your local policing plans 2020-23.




We asked

We sought views that would help us shape the use of Body Worn Video (BWV) by armed policing officers when interacting with the public. We felt it was important to engage and involve individuals, communities, and our partners to gain their views and measure their confidence in how we use technology and continue to police by consent.

You said

We received almost 9,000 responses to our survey. This illustrated the large public interest in this topic and the public’s motivation to continue to be involved in the development of Police Scotland’s policies across both geographic and demographic communities, including a notable proportion of respondents: with a disability or long-term health condition (18%); currently employed by Police Scotland (15%); and under the age of 29 (17%).

We found that:

  • A large majority of respondents (73%) reported that the use of BWV would help them feel safer.
  • 58% respondents said they would feel “much safer” with a smaller number saying they would feel “slightly safer” (15%). A quarter reported it would make them feel “neither more or less safe”;
  • Nine in ten respondents reported that BWV should be used “always” (74%) or “often” (16%);
  • 78% of respondents reported that knowing interactions with the public are recorded would increase their trust and confidence in Police Scotland.

We did

Your views have informed the decision making process as we move forward to the next stage in the delivery of BWV to our armed police officers across Scotland. Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, armed police officers were equipped with BWV, which was a success.

We understand that we need to understand more about this topic before BWV is rolled out more widely. Further public engagement is being undertaken before we introduce BWV in other areas of policing, including for our response officers across local policing divisions. This engagement will involves our stakeholders, a public survey and focus groups with our diverse communities - all of which are already underway.

We asked

In December 2019 the Scottish Government updated its Strategic Police Priorities, prompting a refresh of the Scottish Police Authority's and Police Scotland’s strategic police plan and long term strategy for policing.

The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland wanted to gather views of the communities of Scotland on our long term strategic direction.

The strategy, Policing for a safe, protected and resilient Scotland, was developed around five strategic outcomes, which describe the positive impact we are seeking for the people and communities of Scotland, as well as officers and staff:

  • Threats to public safety and wellbeing are resolved by a proactive and responsive police service
  • The needs of local communities are addressed through effective service delivery
  • The public, communities and partners are engaged, involved and have confidence in policing
  • Our people are supported through a positive working environment enabling them to serve the public
  • Police Scotland is sustainable, adaptable and prepared for future challenges

Your opinions make sure that our plan fits with expectations and enables continued collaboration, and that we are able to identify any areas of the plan that require to be amended or strengthened.

You said

We received a strong level of support for the approach set out.  This provides us with the assurance that these approaches have support and confidence from the public and partners.

The percentage of respondents who ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ were:

  • Outcome 1: Keeping people safe – 80%
  • Outcome 2: Communities are at the heart of policing – 76%
  • Outcome 3: How we involve you – 75%
  • Outcome 4: Supporting our people – 75%
  • Outcome 5: Sustainable policing for the future – 70%

We did

1,451 responses, including approximately 2455 free text responses, were received. These responses allowed us to gain a more in-depth understanding of respondents’ views. Comments were reviewed against the draft Joint Strategy for Policing and allowed us to make changes that reflected your views.

In addition to this feedback, we also considered feedback from key partners before the plan was finalised and approved by the Scottish Police Authority on 25 March 2020.

The comments received will also inform future strategic work, such as our approach to cybercrime.

You can read the final strategy here. It is also attached at the bottom of this page, alongside a summary report of the consultation and an Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment summary report.

We are grateful to all who participated and thank you to all who indicated they would like to continue to engage with us in the future.

We asked

Police Scotland asked how you want us to engage with you about football policing to help us to write a new engagement strategy which will make sure football supporters and our communities are involved in how Police Scotland works at football.

We asked for details of any experience of football-related engagement you have already had with Police Scotland, including what you thought we did well and what we did not do well, along with suggestions for improvement.

We asked if you wanted to hear from us about football policing and suggested some outcomes that could be worked towards.  For those who do want to hear from us, we asked for opinions on some suggested outcomes, what topics you would like us to engage with you about and how you want us to do this. 

Your opinions and suggestions will make sure that our football engagement strategy will be directed at meeting the needs of football supporters and the wider public as well as encouraging positive relationships between police and public at football. 

You said

We received 6,817 responses from a mix of football supporters (95%) and non-football supporters (5%) and 57% of those who replied live or work in an area where football takes place. 

77% of people said they had not previously engaged with Police Scotland about football. Of those who have previously engaged, it is clear that many of your experiences have not been positive and this is something we will try to improve on in future.  

41% of football supporters said that they want Police Scotland to engage with them about football policing in the future. The most popular methods are:

  • for the engagement to be carried out via their club - 30%
  • using Police Scotland local social media accounts - 20%
  • passing on information from other sources such as traffic and travel information - 16%
  • face-to-face meetings - 15%    

We did

6,817 responses were received by the deadline. 

We have published our Football Engagement Strategy - this can be downloaded from the 'Related' section below.

We listened to everyone's feedback and incorporated this into the development of our strategy. If you have any questions, please contact us using the contact details on this page. 

We are grateful to all who participated and thank you for taking the time to provide such a wide range of responses.

We asked

Police Scotland wanted to introduce new strategic outcomes for policing that describe the impact and difference Police Scotland aims to make to the lives of people across Scotland. These are:

  • Threats to public safety and wellbeing are resolved by a responsive police service           
  • The needs of local communities are addressed through effective service delivery            
  • Public and communities are engaged, involved and have confidence in policing 
  • Our people are supported through a positive working environment enabling them to serve the public
  • Police Scotland is sustainable, adaptable and prepared for future challenges

We asked for opinions from people across Scotland on our proposed outcomes, our approach, and how you want to be involved in working with us to continue to shape future services. We were also keen to hear views to help shape our future strategies in respect to prevention and public contact and engagement.

Your opinions make sure that our plan fits with expectations and enables continued collaboration, and that we are able identify any areas of the plan that require to be amended or strengthened.

You said

We received a strong level of support for the approaches set out.  This provides Police Scotland with the assurance that these approaches have support and confidence from the public and partners.

The percentage of respondents who ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ were:

  • Our policing priorities: 87%
  • Outcome 1 – Keeping people safe: 86%
  • Outcome 2 – Communities are at the heart of policing: 82%
  • Outcome 3 – Contacting and talking to us: 79%
  • Outcome 4 – Supporting our people: 81%
  • Outcome 5 – Meeting demand: 74%

We did

1,995 responses were received by the deadline, with some extra received after this point. Many respondents also provided comments which were reviewed against our draft Annual Police Plan 2019/20.

In addition to this feedback, we also considered feedback from the Scottish Police Authority and other key partners before the plan was finalised and laid before the Scottish Parliament on 29 March 2019.

The comments received will also inform future strategic work, including on public contact and engagement and prevention.

We are grateful to all who participated and thank you to all who indicated they would like to continue to engage with us in the future.

We asked

The 2018/19 Annual Police Plan (APP) sets out our priorities for policing and explains how we will deliver them over the forthcoming year. It offers a significant opportunity to improve how we serve the public and our communities.

We engaged with the public and partners to develop the final plan. Through this survey, we asked for views on our planned activities for the 2018/19 period. These related to the following priorities: Violence, Disorder and Antisocial Behaviour; Serious Organised Crime; Counter Terrorism; Protecting People at Risk of Harm; Road Safety and Road Crime; Acquisitive Crime.

We also welcomed any other comments.

You said

The six week engagement period resulted in a total of 1102 responses from a wide range of partner agencies/organisations, as well as individual members of the public. The level of response, over the 6 six week period, compared favourably to other similar surveys or consultations run in recent years in Scotland.

These figures represent a strong level of support for the approaches set out within the APP and this provides Police Scotland with the assurance that these approaches have the support and confidence of the public and partners.

We did

All responses have been reviewed and considered as the final version of the APP was developed. The detailed responses have also been shared with internal divisions and departments to enable further local engagement and continuous improvement.

The APP was laid before Parliament on 29 March 2018 and published on the Police Scotland website. A report with more details of the survey is available below.

We asked

In line with Police Scotland's 2026 Strategy, and to ensure our service is sustainable and appropriate for local needs, 53 premises across the country were identified for potential disposal without affecting the delivery of operational policing for local communities. Through public consultation, and engagement with communities, partners, stakeholders and elected officials, we sought the opinion of people from across the country as to whether there was support for the disposal of these premises.

You said

Through the consultation, which received 1,731 responses, there was support for the disposal of 49 of the 53 properties.

We did

The four properties where public feeling was against their disposal - Lairg in Sutherland, Lochboisdale on South Uist, and Dunvegan and Broadford on the Isle of Skye - will remain part of the Police Scotland Estate for the time being. Further detailed engagement with the relevant communities and partners will be carried out to try to find a solution which makes best use of these empty properties.

We asked

Policing 2026 is a collaborative and strategic programme of work by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland, intended to transform policing in Scotland over the next decade.

Between February and May 2017 we asked the public, our staff, stakeholders and our partners for views on our draft strategy document, in particular:

  • whether it identified and acknowledged the main risks, challenges, opportunities and demands that are likely to impact on policing over the next 10 years
  • whether the main areas of focus and methods proposed are the right ones to deliver an improved policing service
  • about using public confidence as a key measure of success and effectiveness of performance
  • our approach to re-shaping our organisation with a workforce focussed on having the right skills and capacity to meet future challenges
  • if the strategy document was presented in a clear and understandable way

We also welcomed any other comments on the strategy and its impact.

You said

We received 1715 responses to the consultation, supplemented by additional feedback we gathered from events and other activity with our staff, partners and the public, both before and during the consultation.

The strategy was well received with the majority agreeing with our proposals and approach across all questions.

Feedback was generally very positive about the vision set out in the strategy, the means of achieving it, and prospects for delivering sustained excellence in service and protection for the people of Scotland.

We did

We undertook detailed analysis of the responses to the consultation and reviewed the strategy document against the feedback received.

As a result of the positive responses received there was no need to change the main elements of the strategy.

Some recurring themes were identified as a result of our analysis and you will see a stronger emphasis on the recognised value of our volunteer and charitable partners across the country. We have also reinforced our continued commitment to community planning to best serve local communities and to recognise the needs of our remote and rural communities. We have made more specific reference outlining our commitment to staff welfare and we have expanded on financial planning in response to comments about the future of police budgets over the next decade.

This helpful and constructive feedback about how we take the final strategy forward will also be built this into our implementation planning and future delivery.

The analysis report and responses to the consultation have now been published.