Community policing across Scotland comes under the spotlight during April and May as the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee undertakes a series of fact-finding visits in April and May to inform its community policing inquiry, starting in Dundee.
At the conclusion of the Justice Committee’s recent inquiry into the effective use of police resources, the Committee expressed concern at the absence of a commonly agreed definition and approach to community policing in Scotland . A commitment was then made to carry out a second phase inquiry to examine in more detail how effectively community policing is currently being delivered.
To gain a better understanding of how community policing varies across Scotland the Committee will witness its delivery in Dundee , the Scottish Borders and in the areas served by Central Scotland Police and by the North Lanarkshire Division of Strathclyde Police.
Committee Convener Bill Aitken MSP said: “It is important that we see community policing in operation first-hand and understand how the delivery of community policing varies. We want to know what is good about community policing in Scotland and what can be improved upon. Experiencing this for ourselves will help us when we come to take evidence from witnesses later on in the year.
The Committee’s first visit will be on Tuesday 15 April to Dundee where they hope to gain an insight into how Tayside Police delivers community policing and the role of community wardens in providing a service to the people of Dundee .
The morning will be spent with Police Community Liaison Teams in Fintry, Broughty Ferry, Lochee and Whitfield and the afternoon at the Community Safety Base, Kirkton with Community Wardens.
Committee members attending the visit will be:
- Bill Aitken MSP (Convener)
- Nigel Don MSP
- Margaret Smith MSP
The Committee’s next visit will be to Central Scotland Police in Stirling and Falkirk on 28 April where Members will hear about their modernisation agenda and how this impacts on community policing.
On 6 May the Committee will visit the Scottish Borders and see how community policing is delivered in a more rural context.
The Committee will conclude their visits in Motherwell on 19 May to see how community policing is being delivered there as well as hearing about the delivery of community policing by Strathclyde Police more generally.