As policing beats go, they don’t get much more interesting than the whole of Scotland.
My role as Deputy Chief Constable, with responsibility for leading the delivery of local policing throughout the country, means I am lucky to see first-hand the sheer commitment of our officers, staff and volunteers from Shetland to Stranraer.
From the newest probationers to officers with decades of experience; staff who answer your calls to us and those who carry out crime scene examination; Special Constables and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers – the police family is strong, proud and vibrant.
We might be organised as a national service but local policing is at the very heart of what we do and how we do it.
Understanding what our communities need and keeping that conversation going are vitally important to making sure policing in Scotland remains relevant and responsive.
In 2013 the police service transitioned into a single organisation but one which continued to have local policing at its core.
Four years on, the organisation needs to transform into a service which is sustainable operationally, corporately and financially. Local policing will remain the foundation on which the service stands.
The draft Policing 2026 strategy has been created to shape the service we must become.
We’re asking as many people as possible to help us in doing that by taking part in the consultation on Policing 2026, which is now underway across the country.
When Chief Constable Phil Gormley and Andrew Flanagan, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, launched Policing 2026 in February, it wasn’t just a glossy document which was unveiled.
The consultation launched is one of the most expansive I’ve ever seen in my career. I would encourage everyone in our communities, regardless of whether you live in a rural community or a city centre, to take part.
Simple ways of doing that are online or by speaking to any of our officers.
You can take part by completing the survey at www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/policing-2026/
By making your views known through the consultation, the policing delivered in communities will become even more aligned with public priorities.
We are enormously proud of policing in Scotland and our Policing 2026 strategy will ensure we can continue to be.