CAM is the new operating model for police call handling that is being introduced by Police Scotland. Utilising a robust approach to the assessment of risk and vulnerability, it will enable Police Scotland to respond more effectively to vulnerability and demand.
Phase 1 implementation of CAM progressed on 12 June 2019 in Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway. Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority indicate that phase 1 implementation is proceeding positively and is delivering the benefits of improved risk assessment and service delivery.
The SPA and Police Scotland intend to proceed with phase 2 implementation from late autumn this year, when the new model will be rolled out in greater Glasgow. The CAM oversight group, which is chaired by the SPA, oversees the model’s implementation.
During recess, I was grateful to have the opportunity to learn more about the CAM pilot, along with my colleague Rona Mackay, at the contact command and control centre in Govan. Given that the CAM pilot had a 99 per cent compliance rate, can the cabinet secretary provide more detail regarding when he expects the model to be rolled out nationally?
Jenny Gilruth will forgive me, but there are operational decisions around when the model should be rolled out nationally. I am delighted that she came to my constituency and Govan and saw the contact assessment model up close. However, although the timing is a matter for Police Scotland, I can confirm that Police Scotland intends to roll CAM out nationally. The timescale is subject to all phases of implementation being successfully completed, in accordance with the relevant assurance processes, as well as monitoring and evaluation of each phase to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.
Jenny Gilruth can contact Police Scotland directly, and it will be able to give her more detail about the phasing. However, I can confirm that there will be a national roll-out of CAM.
Given that adequate police resources are important for the successful implementation of the contact assessment model, is the cabinet secretary concerned about the comments of Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, who said that the current budget has a potential shortfall in police numbers of 700? If that is the case, the consequence is severe for resourcing CAM and for adequate police cover in local communities.
I always take seriously what the police say to me, particularly an officer of DCC Will Kerr’s seniority.
We now have more than 1,000 additional officers in comparison with when the Government came to power in 2007, which is in sharp contrast to the picture in England and Wales. We continue to invest in our police and increase police numbers. The agreement with Police Scotland is that numbers can be reduced only if enhanced operational capability is demonstrated. The agreement is overseen by Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary for Scotland, and if it cannot be achieved, there is a conversation to be had with the Government.
As James Kelly suggested, the SPA will, rightly, request additional funds, as it would from any Government. Otherwise, the deficit reduction plan will need to be revised. We will continue to engage positively with Police Scotland. I will not prejudge the spending review later this year, but the important point is that we have more police officers now than when we inherited power more than 12 years ago.