Most police powers and functions in Scotland are devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
A tripartite arrangement exists for the accountability for the police service in Scotland. Scottish Ministers retain overall responsibility for policing policy.
Areas for which legislative responsibility remains with the UK Government include:
Police Authorities and Joint Police Boards are responsible for setting police budgets and ensuring that best value is attained for the public purse.
Chief Constables are responsible for the operational aspects of policing within their force areas.
Individual forces are funded in part by grant paid directly by Scottish Ministers and in part by a local authority's revenue support grant, non-domestic rate income, and the council tax.
Capital expenditure is met through borrowing. The police authority or joint board agrees the budget and resources for each force but decisions on the allocation of resources to meet operational requirements are a matter for each Chief Constable.
In addition to the eight Scottish police forces, there are a number of common police services used by all forces including the Scottish Police College and the Scottish Police Services Authority.
Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency
A collaborative agreement signed by all eight Chief Constables and Police Authority Convenors exists for the national operation of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.