1 Annex 1: Police and fire reform evidence review: Year 2
This updated evidence review is part of a four year evaluation commissioned by the Scottish Government to examine whether the aims of Police and Fire reform have been met and consider what lessons might be learnt for any future public service reforms.
The evidence review for Year 1 (Annex 1) was published in June 2016 and consisted largely of published reports by public bodies associated with the implementation of the reforms or with their oversight up to the end of November 2015.
This updated evidence review will draw on published reports between the end of November 2015 and December 2016. In this period 43 reports have been published and added to a directory of evidence.
The following report will summarise how the documentary evidence relates to each of the three aims of reform, as well as highlighting some additional emerging themes.
1.1 Reform Aim 1: To protect and improve local services despite financial cuts
The majority of the evidence relates to Reform Aim 1. The evidence base is diverse and includes audits; local inspections, performance and annual reports; and reports on specific issues such as stop and search.
- Much of the evidence is internally focused and the work undertaken by Police Scotland and SPA provides updates on how reform aim 1 is being achieved. Issues are identified in relation to the constraints and cost pressures facing the SPA, the need for strategic financial leadership and the challenge of retaining staff in certain areas where closures are taking place.
- Concerns are raised by Reform Scotland (2016) who outline the need to scrap the pledge to increase police officer numbers, to instead ensure that this is an operational decision and resources go where needed.
- The Scottish Parliament (2016) 'Justice Sub-Committee on Policing: Legacy Paper' expresses concern about changes to local policing taking place without consultation with the community, and as such damaging public confidence. They also suggest that local community officer voices are very different to senior officers and should be monitored.
1.1.2 Fire and Rescue
- The evidence is internally focused and based in the main on local inspections, performance management reports and the Service Transformation Programme report.
- The SFRS (2016) Service Transformation Programme report has found evidence of reform aim 1 being prevalent with the greatest focus being on reducing duplication, with 27 projects closed contributing to this aim.
- The evidence from local inspections and performance
managements report refers to reform aim 1 but does not explicitly
discuss how it is being achieved. Instead, key issues include:
- Widening of the SFRS role e.g. greater involvement in emergency medical work
- Inheriting legacy systems which is creating a fragmented picture of national performance. The HMFSI (2015) state they understand the need for robust performance management information systems and is making good progress in their implementation.
- Geographical challenges e.g. a lack of broadband in rural locations.
- Despite financial cuts investment is being made in training and station facilities e.g. Western Isles
1.2 Reform Aim 2: To create more equal access to specialist support and national capacity
- On a national level, the SPA (2016) 'Annual Review of Policing 2015/16: Improving Policing for Scotland's Communities' explains that the delivery of reform aim 2 is dealt with under evidence provided in support of strategic police priority 2 - Strengthen Scotland's reputation as a successful and safe country by demonstrating excellence in effectively planning for and responding to major events and threats.
- The SPA (2016) state that becoming a single police force has enabled them to better deliver access to specialist services for communities. The SPA claim that policing evidence in 2015/16 suggests that Police Scotland are able to draw more readily on resources from across the organisation whilst at the same time maintaining frontline policing delivery to communities with minimum disruption. To improve the use of specialist support services, local scrutiny committees have been well established across the country.
- Areas for development include:
- The need for more evidence of the operational benefits of more routine, day-to-day flexible deployment of resources nationally to meet local needs and demand (e.g. the Campaign Against Violence/Local Days of Action, the use of Flexible Policing Teams across Scotland, and national campaigns in support of Road Safety).
- The need for more consistent evidence of equal access to specialist resources across Scotland, where and when required. More in-depth analysis and assessment work is needed on the impact of more complex forms of criminality and geographical resourcing demands in the future. This will form part of the Policing 2026 Programme.
- On a local level, an inspection of Dumfries and Galloway found that local skills were being overlooked by specialist support. Recommendations were made that there should be consideration of where specialist resources should be geographically located to meet local demand and need.
1.2.2 Fire and Rescue
- Much of the evidence is from local inspections, national planning documents for resources and flooding and the Service Transformation Programme draft report.
- On a national level, HMFSI (2015) 'Planning and Defining Service Resources in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service' report outlines that SFRS has inherited the assets of predecessor organisations, but has the flexibility to match resources to risk when determining the appropriate level of resources across Scotland.
- In planning for a serious flooding incident, the HMFSI (2015) state that they have a significant number of flood and water rescue resources available and they have been trained to a good level. For this reason, if a serious flooding incident occurred now, the SFRS would be able to deploy substantial resources to it, and would be in a position to discharge its statutory responsibilities in relation to serious flooding. However, opportunities for improvement were identified, for example, national policy and procedures, multi-agency flood planning and training.
- The SFRS (2016) Service Transformation Programme report states that reform aim 2 is a prevalent aim and that 12 of the projects that have closed have contributed to this aim e.g. delivery of a specialist fire investigation team for each service delivery area, development of national databases for local use on skill set of flexi duty managers, volunteer groups and full range of resources available.
- On a local level, inspections in Dundee and West Lothian suggest that there is access to specialised resources but that implementation plans still need to be determined as a result of the specialist appliance review.
1.3 Reform Aim 3: To strengthen the connection between services and communities they serve
- On a national level, according to the SPA (2016) there is evidence that local scrutiny committees are well established.
- The minutes from an SPA board meeting in March 2016 outline that the SPA Review of Strategic Police Plan identifies a key issue - that assurance that SPA's planning process would link to community planning partnerships and planning partnerships at a local level and Police Scotland's local police plans are further developed to meet the needs of local communities.
- On a local level, a local area inspection in Dumfries found evidence of good partnership working.
- Evidence is provided externally from Reform Scotland.
- In regards to governance, Reform Scotland (2016) would like to see representation from each local authority area on the SPA to ensure the different needs are represented.
1.3.2 Fire and Rescue
- On a national level, the SFRS (2016) Service Transformation Programme report states that the programmes contribution to reform aim 3 has been limited and for the most part a secondary or tertiary benefit.
- The HMFSI (2016) Annual Report 2015/16 highlighted partnership working as an area of good practice and outlined that local scrutiny arrangements are in place in all areas inspected.
- Evidence towards reform aim 3 in the main is discussed in the local area inspection reports.
- In Western Isles, Dundee, West Lothian and South Ayrshire strong local partnerships are identified.
- In Western Isles the local partnerships are said to be supplemented by increased focus on data sharing.
- In West Lothian, it is believed the strong local partnerships are perhaps a by-product of the co-location of SFRS staff in the council civic centre.
1.4 Additional Emerging Themes
There are a number of emerging themes impacting on both Police Scotland and SFRS that fall outside the aims of reform, but may be critical to achieving the aims. These include:
Opportunities for improvement in training were identified in the HMFSI inspection reports, specifically in relation to the local area inspections and preparedness for a serious flooding event.
The need for robust performance management information systems and better broadband connections is highlighted in HMFSI reports. It is also suggested that they are making progress towards this.
Audit Scotland (2016) outline the financial implications of the termination of the I6 programme for the benefits of police reform. The SPA (2016) in their annual report recognise the improvements which still need to be made and suggest that work is underway to implement alternative ICT solutions to match or possibly exceed the benefits I6 set out to achieve.
Prevention is a theme which featured in the HMFSI, HMICS and Police Scotland reports, as a priority for the future. For SFRS, prevention is linked to widening the firefighter role in the community to emergency medical work. For Police Scotland, prevention is forming one of their policing priorities for years to come, which includes re-investing capacity into prevention work.
1.4.4 Local scrutiny
The HMFSI local inspections in 2016 found that there are local scrutiny structures in place in all areas visited in the local inspections. In the HMICS Annual Report (2016) it suggests that there are opportunities to streamline local scrutiny structures by integrating local policing plans into the new Local Outcomes Improvement Plans. The SPA found that from 2015-16, local scrutiny committees were well established across the country with approaches to performance being described as 'maturing' and developmental learning between the committees being supported by the SPA. A Review of Governance in Policing by the SPA (2016) did however, state that local scrutiny bodies do not feel they are sufficiently listened to regarding local policing and feel they are unable to input into national policy issues. As such, the SPA (2016) outlined a number of recommendations including a more formalised relationship between local scrutiny bodies and the SPA.
Localism is predominantly discussed in relation to Police Scotland. HMICS (2016) state that localism is one of the themes which will inform policing priorities. One of the proposed strategic police priorities set out by the Scottish Government (2016) includes ensuring that the needs of local communities are understood and reflected in the planning and delivery of policing at a local and national level. Reform Scotland (2016) feel it is necessary to 're-inject localism back into the current structure'.
1.4.6 Financial leadership
Audit Scotland (2016) in the 2015/16 audit of the Scottish Police Authority explain that due to the challenging financial circumstances and with the Scottish Government's commitment to maintain an increase in the policing budget, makes strong effective financial leadership essential. Steps are reported to have been taken by the SPA and Police Scotland to improve financial leadership and management, and governance arrangements but these have not had time to have an impact.
1.4.7 Public confidence
A proposed strategic police priority (Scottish Government, 2016) includes continuously improving public confidence in policing and inspire trust by being transparent, accountable and acting with integrity, fairness and respect. The Scottish Parliament (2016) paper outlines that changes to local policing practices have been introduced with little or no consultation with local communities and public confidence in local policing has been damaged as a result. Consequently, the Sub-Committee recommended that police reform on local policing should continue to be monitored and capturing the voices of local community officers was seen as invaluable.
This report has provided a summary of the evidence relating to police and fire reform in Scotland between November 2015 and December 2016. As well as summarising how the evidence relates to the three aims of reform, additional emerging themes have also been identified. As with the year 1 evidence review the picture is complex and this evidence review is intended to supplement the geographical case studies. The next stage of the evaluation will produce thematic case studies which will draw on emerging themes from the geographical case studies and evidence reviews from year 1 and 2.
Audit Scotland (2015) The 2014/15 Audit of the Scottish Police Authority http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2015/s22_211218_spa.pdf
Audit Scotland (2016) The 2015/16 Audit of the Scottish Police Authority http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2016/s22_161222_spa.pdf
HMFSI (2015) Local Area Inspection Western Isles http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00490844.pdf
HMFSI (2015) Managing Automatic Fire Signals http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00486519.pdf
HMFSI (2015) Performance Management Information Systems in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: A review of the systems the SFRS uses to collect and report data relating to its performance http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0047/00476788.pdf
HMFSI (2015) Planning and Defining Service Resources in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00486723.pdf
HMFSI (2015) Preparedness of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for a serious flooding event http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00487995.pdf
HMFSI (2016) Annual Report 2015/16 http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00502425.pdf
HMFSI (2016) Local Area Inspection Dundee City http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00501934.pdf
HMFSI (2016) Local Area Inspection West Lothian http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00500213.pdf
HMFSI (2016) Local Area Inspection South Ayrshire http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00509899.pdf
HMICS (2015) Annual Report 2014/15 http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Annual%20Report%202014-15.pdf
HMICS (2015) Recommendations/Improvement Actions - Discharged 2015 http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/2015%20Discharged%20-%20Recommendations%20and%20Improvement%20Actions%20-%20Police%20Scotland.pdf
HMICS (2016) Annual Report 2015/16 http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20-%20Annual%20Report%202015-16.pdf
HMICS (2016) Audit and Assurance Review of the use of the Facial Search functionality within the UK Police National Database ( PND) by Police Scotland http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Audit%20and%20Assurance%20Review%20of%20the%20use%20of%20the%20Facial%20Search%20functionality%20within%20the%20UK%20Police%20National%20Database%20%28PND%29%20by%20Police%20Scotland_0.pdf
HMICS (2016) Audit and Assurance Review of Stop and Search: Phase 2 - Terms of Reference http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Audit%20and%20Assurance%20Review%20of%20Stop%20and%20Search%20Phase%202%20-%20Terms%20of%20Reference_0.pdf
HMICS (2016) Counter Corruption Unit Assurance Review - Terms of Reference http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/Assurance%20Review%20Counter%20Corruption.pdf
HMICS (2016) Crime Audit 2016: Terms of Reference http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Crime%20Audit%202016%2C%20Terms%20of%20Reference.pdf
HMICS (2016) Crime Audit 2016 http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Crime%20Audit%202016.pdf
HMICS (2016) Inspection of Custody Centres at Aikenhead Road and London Road, Glasgow http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Inspection%20of%20custody%20centres%20at%20Aikenhead%20Road%20and%20London%20Road%2C%20Glasgow.pdf
HMICS (2016) Local Policing+ Inspection Programme Inspection of Dumfries and Galloway Division http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Local%20Policing%2B%20Dumfries%20and%20Galloway%20Division.pdf
HMICS (2016) Police Scotland - Counter Corruption Unit Assurance Review http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20Independent%20Assurance%20Review%20-%20Police%20Scotland%20Counter%20Corruption%20Unit.pdf
HMICS (2016) Scottish Police Authority - Forensic Service: Terms of Reference for HMICS Thematic Inspection http://hmics.org/sites/default/files/publications/HMICS%20-%20Inspection%20of%20Scottish%20Police%20Authority%20Forensic%20Services%20-%20Terms%20of%20Reference.pdf
Police Scotland (2015) Quarterly Performance Report Q3 2015/16 http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/126884/333701/performancereport (pg. 27)
Police Scotland (2016) 2015/16 Performance Summary Report http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/126884/350967/item4 (pg. 14)
Police Scotland (2016) Annual Police Plan 2016/17 http://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/138327/150739/police-scotland-annual-police-plan-2016-17?view=Standard
Police Scotland (2016) Children and Young People 2016/20 - Our Approach http://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/138327/365208/children-young-people-our-approach?view=Standard
Reform Scotland (2016) Reinventing Local Policing https://reformscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Reform-Scotland-Reinventing-local-policing-July-2016.pdf
Scottish Government (2016) Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2016 https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/fire-and-rescue/fire-and-rescue-framework/supporting_documents/417276_Fire%20Framework_V2.pdf
Scottish Government (2016) Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland: Final Children's Right and wellbeing Impact Assessment http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00506850.pdf
Scottish Parliament (2016) Justice Sub-Committee on Policing: Legacy Paper http://www.parliament.scot/s4_JusticeSubCommitteeonPolicing/Reports/JSPS042016R01.pdf
SCSN (2016) Using and Handling Intelligence Data: A Guide for Community Safety Partnerships http://www.safercommunitiesscotland.org/wp-content/uploads/Using-intelligence-data-toolkit.pdf
SFRS (2016) Annual Performance Review 2015-16 http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/975512/sfrs_ann_perf_review_2015_16_v1.0.pdf
SFRS (2016) Board Paper 31 March 2016: Findings from the Reform Process http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/925432/18_20160331b.sppc.03_16findingsfromthereformprocess_combined.pdf
SFRS (2016) Service Transformation Programme 2013-2016: Programme Update Report to the Service Programme Board and Committee June 2016 http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/980989/10a_20160825b.stc.02_16draftservicetransformationprogrammeupdatereportv08.pdf
SFRS (2016) Strategic Plan 2016-19 http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/1005163/scottish_fire_and_rescue_service_strategic_plan_2016_19.pdf
SPA (2016) Annual Review of Policing 2015/16: Improving Policing for Scotland's Communities http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/294812/annualreviewofpolicing1516
SPA (2016) Annual Report and Accounts for the Scottish Police Authority for the Year to 31 March 2016 http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/293627/spaara201516
SPA (2016) A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Stop and Search on Individuals and Communities in Scotland http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/352708/spaqualitifiveresearchapril2016
SPA (2016) Review of Governance in Policing: To Cabinet Secretary for Justice http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/337350/337362
SPA (2016) Stop and Search Analysis: Headline Findings 2015/16 http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/352708/stopandsearchkeyfindings
SPA (2016) Strategic Police Plan - Delivery Review: Quarter One - April to June 2016 http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/126884/357959/spapoliceplan
SPA (2016) Strategic Police Plan - Delivery Review: Quarter Two - July to September 2016 http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/126884/373840/item7
University of Edinburgh (2016) Understanding and Preventing Youth Crime Survey ( UPYC) Early Findings: Stop and Search in Glasgow and Edinburgh http://www.spa.police.uk/assets/128635/352708/uypcstopandsearch