This annual report from Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) provides an update on how HMICS has carried out its statutory function for the period of 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 and follows from its previous Annual Report which was published on 19 December 2014. In addition to reporting on HMICS’ function and activities in the past year, Mr Penman has taken the opportunity to offer his assessment on the overall state, effectiveness and efficiency of policing in Scotland and on the performance of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, (SPA) during 2014-15.
His assessment is that overall performance across Police Scotland remains strong with officers and staff committed to providing a good service to communities. However there must be a detailed vision for policing in Scotland which reflects the challenging public sector financial landscape and seeks to balance the need for community policing with the need to protect communities and respond to new and developing threats. The absence of a long term vision and financial strategy creates a risk that savings will continue to focus on reducing the numbers of police staff.
Mr Penman takes the opportunity in his annual report to acknowledge the significant contributions made by Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and Mr Vic Emery, former Chair of the SPA, in leading the policing of Scotland through a period of unprecedented change. He also welcomes Mr Andrew Flanagan as the new Chair of the SPA and Mr Phil Gormley as the recently appointed Chief Constable of Police Scotland.