Members of the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing will embark on a series of fact-finding visits across Scotland beginning today in Dumfries. They will visit Elgin and Glenrothes next week as part of the Committee’s examination of the impact of police reform on local policing.
The Sub-Committee is keen to find out whether local policing services have improved, remained the same or deteriorated since Police Scotland came into being on 1 April 2013. It also wants to know whether services have been designed to address the specific needs particular to local areas and if there has been any change to approach since last April.
The Sub-Committee members will meet a range of divisional management teams, community and response officers, community council and safety teams as part of the visits to the south, central and north of Scotland.
Convener of the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, Christine Grahame MSP said:
“There has been much comment that local policing is under attack, with proposed closures of police counters and an apparent rise in stop and searches. We want to hear first-hand from the police on the front line and in the back rooms if local policing is for better or worse or if there has been no change since Police Scotland was created.
“Communities in local towns and villages around Scotland will also have their views, and that is why we’ll also be speaking to community councils and Victim Support to hear their own experiences of the new arrangements. The views we gather will help inform our future work on local policing.”
On 13 January Graeme Pearson MSP and Margaret Mitchell MSP will visit Dumfries. On 20 January John Finnie MSP and Kevin Stewart MSP will visit Elgin, while Alison McInnes MSP and Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP will visit Glenrothes on the same day.
This is a sub-committee of the Justice Committee that has been established to oversee the operation of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 as it relates to policing. The creation of the sub-committee meets a requirement set out in the 2012 Act for the Scottish Parliament to make arrangements for keeping under review and reporting on the operation of the Act. The Act replaces the eight territorial police forces in Scotland with one national force, the Police Service of Scotland, to be overseen by a Scottish Police Authority.
Sub-committee members have been selected from the Justice Committee, Local Government and Regeneration Committee and Equal Opportunities Committee to represent these committees’ interests in policing.
Any media wishing to take photographs or interview MSPs on the visits should contact Ann Donald on the number below.