Report suggests high confidence in police
A report on the work of police forces across Scotland before they joined together to form Police Scotland suggests that confidence and satisfaction in police is high, detection rates are up and crime continued to fall sharply in 2012-13.
The Scottish Policing Performance Framework Annual Report, 2012-13 covers all aspects of policing in Scotland over the year to 31 March 2013. While the government admit that comparisons over time depend on the data available, they say that main findings show:
- Detected youth crime is down by 52 per cent since 2008-09
- Confidence in police is high and public satisfaction levels are at 84 per cent
- Detection rates are up 3 percentage points since the report began in 2007-08
- Police complaints are down 8.3 per cent since 2009-10
- The number of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds are up 5 percentage points since 2007-08
Commenting on the report, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:-“This report shows that police are continuing to exceed expectations while working hard to cut crime and keep our communities safe.
“Public confidence and satisfaction in police is high and the number of emergency calls answered promptly is continuing to rise, while detection rates are up and complaints are down. It is especially encouraging to see significant decreases in crimes which can have a negative impact on communities such as youth offending – down by over half since 2008-09.
“This is backed by the lowest rates of recorded crime in almost 40 years and over 1,000 extra officers in communities, coming at a time of the biggest changes to policing for a generation.
“I would like to thank the police service, including officers, staff and organisations for their continued dedication to keeping communities safe and for providing an even better service to our people while making efficiencies in the face of significant financial challenges we continue to face due to budget cuts imposed by Westminster. These are strong foundations for Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to build on in the future.”
Vic Emery, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said:-“It was a top priority for the SPA to ensure that there was a smooth transition to the new police structures and this report adds to the weight of evidence that the public continued to receive a quality policing service through the merger. Our focus now is on the next phase of reforms. Scrutinising the results of how police time and resources are used is vital so that we can ensure that police priorities and performance are aligned, and that we continue to test the quality of policing outcomes against the necessary reductions in cost that must be made.”
Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick of Police Scotland said: -“We want communities to gain the maximum level of service and benefit from effective and efficient policing. That’s why Police Scotland has a robust focus on strong performance – to keep people safe.
“Through consultation across the country, Police Scotland has identified national and local priorities which recognise the differing needs and issue of communities across Scotland and we are committed to delivering on those priorities through the 14 Local Divisions.
“The service is already performing well at a national level in its first year, with violent crime down, and robust action against organised crime groups. This strong performance can also be seen at a local level, with reductions in anti-social behaviour and disorder.
“The performance framework enables us to be confident that each individual division is making good progress against those all those priorities and to report back to communities at a local level. This is a year of changing processes and new ways of working against a backdrop of financial savings, so the performance to date is encouraging.”