Stories of our impact

At your service

Merging ten public services into one is a huge undertaking – particularly for a critical service like policing. It's no surprise, therefore, that it has proved challenging for Police Scotland – the second largest police force in the country, and up against ever-increasing budget challenges and the fast-changing needs of society.

The Chief Constable sought to address this by setting an ambitious vision and long-term strategy for policing. The strategy was to provide assurance that a clear plan existed to reduce the deficit, achieve excellence in the force’s services and improve the morale of its people. We were appointed in July 2016 to work in partnership with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to develop the ten-year strategy. Here’s how we helped.

Getting strategic

This was the first time Police Scotland had attempted to define its long-term objectives/purpose/approach. We introduced a team from a wide range of disciplines, including strategy, operations, digital and technology. We had to think about how crime and the world around is changing – Scotland’s communities are growing and diversifying, and demands on policing are increasingly focused towards addressing vulnerability and the consequences of inequalities. The strategy had to acknowledge that transformation is required to maintain the Force’s effectiveness.

By November 2016, the results were significant. The Force Executive was engaged and collectively behind the emerging strategy, and the quality of the output was helping turn critics into advocates. By January 2017, the strategy was approved by the Scottish government and launched for public consultation, with senior officials noting that “there has never been a strategy in the public sector that has been so well received”. The strategy was formally laid before the Scottish Parliament in June 2017.

A clear path

Our work has resulted in a clear vision and direction for Scottish policing. The strategy identifies ways to develop the range of policing services and increase the operational capacity of policing to focus on prevention and protection. It sets out how Police Scotland can become a flexible and adaptable workforce to address new and changing demands, and improve outcomes for Scottish people and communities. It also identifies the huge potential for new technology and new approaches to contribute to those improved outcomes for citizens.

The ultimate impact will be to deliver a police service fit for the future. We continue to work with Police Scotland on a range of projects in support of this transformation.