Justice Committee calls for evidence on effective use of police resources

17/07/2007

An inquiry focussing on how police officers in Scotland are managed and deployed has been launched today by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee

Committee members will examine a range of issues surrounding the effective use of police resources will include the increase of 1,000 officers proposed by the Scottish Government.

Committee convener Bill Aitken MSP said:

"Following the commitment of the Scottish Government to provide additional resources to allow the recruitment of 1,000 extra police officers, our committee felt that the time was right to look carefully at how effectively police resources are currently being used.

"We will be looking at whether police forces can effectively tackle all elements of their work, how local priorities are reflected in policing plans and whether some traditional police functions could be carried out by others such as community wardens.

"By adopting a focussed remit now, which will allow a report to be published early in 2008, our Committee intends to influence over prioritisation of new resources provided to the police in the 2008 – 09 Budget settlement.”

Key questions to be considered by the committee include:

  • How many police officers do police forces need in order to effectively tackle all elements of their work and are the resources provided to the police sufficient to achieve this?

  • What is the role and remit of Chief Constables in prioritising resources on different areas of policing?

  • Which traditional police functions should always be carried out by police officers and which can be carried out by others?

  • If Chief Constables favour recruiting additional officers, how do they propose to deploy them?

  • How quickly can additional police officers be recruited and trained?

  • What role do police authorities or joint police boards (including elected Councillors) play in determining local policing priorities?

  • How do policing priorities differ between urban and rural areas?

  • How would police boards prefer to see additional resources deployed?

  • What is the view of the general public about the priorities for additional police resources – more community officers, targeting serious crime or, perhaps, road traffic offences?

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