The chair of the SPA, the chief constable and I have regular meetings, and we are all committed to that local accountability and to further devolution of policing to local communities. I am sure that the member has heard the chief constable say on many occasions that policing is only done with the consent of the people, so having people involved is hugely important.
I see John Finnie pointing to the report. The issue around governance is highlighted on page 5, where the chief inspector says that the SPA
“has improved its visibility and engagement with local authorities”,
but also, crucially—this is the member’s point—that it
“has recognised the need to improve its overall approach”.
I will, of course, take away what the report says. Some of the recommendations are for Government. Equally, however, most of them are for the SPA. The point about local accountability is an important one that is not lost on any of the triumvirate that are involved in policing.