The establishment of Police Scotland

An analysis of the reform

author Garth den Heyer
journal EJPS (ISSN: 2034-760X)
volume Volume 3
issue Issue 4
section Articles
publicatie datum 16 juin 2016
langue English
pagina 417

In September 2011, the Scottish Justice Secretary announced that in order to address significant
reductions in government appropriations, the eight local police forces would be replaced on 1 April
2013 with a single national Police Scotland. The statement heralded the most significant changes
in the history of policing in Scotland, sharply contrasting with the current emphasis placed on
community policing and localism in police services in other western democratic countries. This
article presents an examination into the planning and the development of the Scottish police
merger 12 months after the establishment of Police Scotland. Based on a number of semi-structured
interviews with policy and decision makers, the research found that the Scottish Government
decision to reform policing in Scotland does not appear to have been based on best evidence or
best practice and that the implementation process has been mechanical by primarily relying on
the introduction of legislation.