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Annual report on policing published
The Inspector of Constabulary's report says police forces, common services and their partners must work to deliver more efficient services and help minimise the effect the recession has on their budgets.
The Annual Report from Her Majesty's Inspector for Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) also highlights improvements in policing such as:
- The creation of the Scottish Policing Board
- The record number of Scottish police officers and the good work done by forces and the Scottish Police College in recruiting and training an increased number of new recruits
- The progress made at encouraging forces to systematically assess and develop their own performance
- The identification of and work to progress national strategic priorities
Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary Mr Bill Skelly said:
"The world-wide economic recession will place huge pressures on police budgets, now and in the years ahead.
"More than ever, this will mean a need for greater collaboration and co-operation between forces and partners to make sure the services delivered are as efficient as possible.
"Delivering partnership working continues to be a challenge for forces and more must be done to meet these challenges and take advantage of the benefits it offers.
"Good progress has been made recently with the identification of strategic priorities.
"Developments such as the ground-breaking Serious and Organised Crime Group mapping project, the establishment of major national units and the on-going work on the Scottish Policing Performance Framework all show what forces in conjunction with partners can achieve when they work together.
"This year has also seen other major developments in policing. The Scottish Government led development of the Scottish Policing Board, following on from recommendations by my predecessor Paddy Tomkins, will I believe become a significant contributor to the effective national governance of the police service in Scotland.
"Meanwhile we now have a record number of police in Scotland. The number of recruits trained increased by 240 per cent - a remarkable achievement for both the Scottish Police College and those who recruit in the forces.
"In the Inspectorate we are now focused on topical inspections - such as those on the police use of firearms and custody facilities.
"To help individual forces assess and improve their own performance in a more systematic way, we have continued to develop a self assessment model in conjunction with forces and ACPOS.
"It has been a year of major developments in the policing world, and it is a positive reflection on the Scottish Police Service and the individuals who serve within it, that these developments and challenges have been met."