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Performance indicators for police

20/03/2007

A national performance framework is to be introduced from April to provide information on how well Scotland's police forces are serving local communities.

It will ensure Scotland's forces are measured, reported on and managed by a single suite of standards, instead of the current three, set separately by the Executive, the Accounts Commission and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

The framework encompasses four main areas of policing:

  1. service response
  2. public reassurance and community safety
  3. criminal justice and tackling crime
  4. sound governance and efficiency

The framework aims to improve accountability at local and national levels through the publication of consistent and transparent performance information, which will support Scottish Ministers, Police Authorities and the general public in their understanding of policing performance.

Quarterly reports will continue to be provided to police boards and a national report will be published annually. The first annual performance report is expected in autumn 2008.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said:

"With nearly 1,500 more police officers than seven years ago, supported by record resources, Scotland's police forces are working hard to make our communities safer places to live and work.

"Crime, including serious violent crime, is falling across Scotland. Although this is welcome news, the public should also be able to see how well their local force, and the service nationally, is performing on a range of policing matters.

"This may range from how quickly 999 calls are being answered to how offenders, particularly sex offenders, are being managed as well as local sickness and turnover rates.

"That is why we have been working with ACPOS, all eight police forces, HMIC and Audit Scotland to develop the Scottish Policing Performance Framework. This is not a move towards police league tables. The framework will help improve understanding and the reporting of performance within each force.

"It will provide a major step forward towards a national measurement of the performance of Scotland's police forces, while being sufficiently flexible to respond to both local forces' needs and future developments in policing.

"It will also ensure that other stakeholders and the public are kept informed about how the police service responds to the demands placed upon it in a 21st century Scotland."

Deputy Chief Constable Pat Shearer, ACPOS Lead for Performance Management said:

"Demonstrating to the public the value of policing has always been a priority for police forces. The new Scottish performance framework will support this through providing clearer and more relevant information both for the public and the inspection and audit agencies.

"The framework will also greatly assist the police service in Scotland to manage the deployment of its resources to address policing priorities. A further benefit of the framework is the use of the information gathered at national level to support the development of the service and to help us continue to improve the service we provide."

Malcolm R Dickson, Assistant Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland, said

"The creation of this framework is one of the responses to an HMIC report published in late 2005. It is to the credit of the police service in Scotland, through the leadership of ACPOS, and the Scottish Executive, that both have worked closely on this, with the help of other interested parties such as Audit Scotland, to produce such a developed piece of work less than 18 months after that report.

"The framework provides people within the police, people who hold the police to account, and ultimately the public served by the police, with a far broader picture than ever before of the demands placed on the service and the way the police respond to these demands. It will provide a strong starting point for improving our understanding of policing performance and it will inform the way the police operate and improve in future, at every level from chief officer to back-office staff, to cop on the street.

"I'm greatly encouraged by the progress that has been made in this area and the commitment to future development, particularly the creation of a common IT platform to support performance and management information across Scotland."