Headlines: September 18th, 2007

An inquiry has been launched in Scotland into how police officers are managed and deployed. The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee will look into a number of issues around the effective use of police resources, including the extra one thousand officers proposed by the Scottish Government.

Questions the committee will consider will include the role of police authorities or joint police boards, including elected Councillors, in determining local policing priorities and how the boards would prefer to see the additional resources used as well as the public’s view of the priorities.

Members will also investigate how many officers forces need to tackle all elements of their work and whether the resources provided to the police are enough for this. They will also look at the differences in policing priorities between urban and rural areas and which functions should always be carried out by police officers and which could be done by other types of staff.

The Committee convener, Bill Aitken, said members felt it was the right time to look carefully at how effectively police resources are currently being used. “By adopting a focussed remit now, which will allow a report to be published early in 2008, our committee intends to influence prioritisation of new resources provided to the police in the 2008 – 09 budget settlement,” he added.

Anyone who wants to submit evidence to the inquiry is being invited to visit http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/justice/index.htm to find out how to do so.