Police Scotland (Local Policing)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 20th June 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

7. To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that recent actions by Police Scotland reflect a change in emphasis in local policing. (S4O-02288)

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party

The new single police service provides an opportunity to adopt a national strategic approach while recognising local circumstances. At the heart of that is a focus on keeping people safe and meeting the priorities of local communities. That commitment is shaped and delivered through engagement with partners and local people and is subject to scrutiny by local representatives to ensure that Police Scotland adopts the right approach to address the priority issues in each local community.

The police have always taken enforcement action, working with partners in local authorities and other agencies, against those who are involved in criminality. Recent actions do not reflect a change in emphasis or approach; they demonstrate a cohesive response to eradicating criminality and protecting communities across Scotland.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I noted the cabinet secretary’s replies to Richard Lyle on the importance of local licensing. I want an assurance from him, if that is possible, that emphasis will be placed on continuing what was considered to be a successful policy in managing prostitution in the Lothian and Borders and Grampian regions, in comparison with the relative failure of zero tolerance in Strathclyde.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party

I think that everyone, certainly in the east of Scotland, is aware that there have been fewer deaths in relation to prostitution. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on particular recent matters, especially matters that are sub judice and have been dealt with. Suffice it to say that when the police obtain intelligence of criminality, whether that relates to trafficking, sexual exploitation, drugs, money laundering or other matters, it is important that the intelligence is acted on.

Having met Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham and Chief Superintendent Ruth Gilfillan, who is in charge of the trafficking unit, I can give the member an assurance that local matters will continue to prevail. There will be matters in relation to which the police quite correctly and understandably act on intelligence.

Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

I advise the cabinet secretary and Margo MacDonald that the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing should be dealing with the impact of the single force on local policing after the recess, when members will be able to raise issues with the committee.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party

I welcome that—it is why the committee was established and it is quite appropriate.