President’s Blog No. 12

Promotion Process

After nearly 3 years the Supt promotion process has been launched as well as Chief Supt process. We have been working along with Angela Terry’s team to shape the process and fed back member concerns regarding on call and line management support.

I am pleased that the force has listened to your concerns and reviewed the process accordingly.

May I take this opportunity to wish those taking part the very best of luck and I look forward to representing and working with all successful candidates.


On Duty Pilot

The duty pilot has now commenced and I am very grateful to everyone who contacted the association to provide feedback regarding the proposal. There has been a huge amount of engagement with the association which allowed us to work alongside Katrina Cameron to launch the pilot.

Although the duration is three months, whereupon there will be an evaluation carried out, I am keen that those taking part raise any issues as they arise so we can look at addressing them quickly.

While recognising that the pilot does not suit everyone, I welcome the positive step by the force to look at addressing Wellbeing concerns.

I have volunteered to take part and look forward to my Saturday and Sunday nightshifts at the end of November.

Divisional visits

I have now visited command teams at Aberdeen, Dundee, Glenrothes, Falkirk, Dalkeith, Kilmarnock and Govan.  I have planned visits to all other divisions over the coming months, including departments.

Without exception, the meetings have been very positive and I have really welcomed the views from members regarding the role and place of ASPS.  This is very useful feedback as we move towards building a three year strategic plan for the association.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee met on 24 August in Perth. This was my first meeting as President therefore I was delighted that 18 members were in attendance and even more pleased that 8 of those were non-executive members.

There was lively debate around a number of issues such as wellbeing, finance, operating models, promotion process, and communications (internally and externally). It was refreshing to listen to different views, discuss them and then take a position regarding them.  For me, the strength of the association executive comes from varied views across different geographical and departmental areas.

One of the key outcomes from the meeting was agreement to move ahead with a business planning day with the aim of identifying some strategic themes for the association and thereafter looking to develop a delivery plan.

This work will inform a Strategic Plan for the association, likely a 3 year plan that will be a public facing document holding us to account for delivering against the Key themes. I am hopeful that we can also have a secure area on the pnn network where members will be able to access our administrative documents showing minutes, actions and activity aligned to the Strategic Plan.

I want to us to be visible and accountable to our members.

Ch Supt Angela McLaren has stood down as north chair due to her current posting being out with this area.  We have advertised this post and I would encourage you to consider applying if you want to help the Association.

I am delighted that Angela remains with us as a co-opted member as she brings a great deal of experience and commitment to her role as part of the executive.

If you are not aware of who your local Executive members are, please have a look at our website at for details. Please do get in touch as your views are really important to me and the association.

COPS Event

On Sunday 31 July I attended the National Memorial Arboretum in Stafford to lay a wreath on behalf of the Association, remembering fallen colleagues and providing support to their families.

A wonderful occasion at a spectacular location it was an absolute honour to represent you all.  I was able to chat with some of the families who fed back their delight at the event.

I would encourage you all to have a look at the COPS website and see the fantastic work they do in supporting families.

Police Dependants Trust

I have been appointed as a trustee for the PDT and as such have attended a few meetings, one of which was focussed on their 50th year anniversary.  To mark the occasion the Trust is hosting an anniversary event to be held at the Tower of London on 22 November 2016.

The Trust has been working hard to address wellbeing and I will shortly be circulating the findings of some research they have been conducting, including interviews with retired officers.

Again I would urge you to take some time to look up the PDT website at and see the most valuable work they do to support us all.

SPA Briefing

I have met with Mr Andrew Flanagan, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority. As this was an introductory meeting, much of the occasion centred upon my vision for ASPS and the challenges faced by Police Scotland, it’s officers and staff.

Police Memorial Days

On 7 September I was honoured to represent members at the Scottish Police Memorial Day held at the Police College Scotland. An extremely humbling occasion organised by Christine Fulton and her team.

On a fine summers day various dignitaries and members of the force executive were in attendance with around 100 invited guests to remember fallen colleagues.

The occasion was marked by the laying of wreaths at the Scottish Police Memorial at the college.

On Sunday 25 September 2016 I will be attending the National Police Memorial Day at St Pauls Cathedral where I will lay a wreath on behalf of the association.


ASPS was recently invited to a 2026 briefing by ACC Graham, Tom McMahon and Supt Gavin Phillips.  The briefing outlined the strategic aims of 2026 albeit that much of the work is still ongoing so I will update further in my next blog.

Wellbeing & Mindfulness Project

I am delighted to announce that Inspector Brendan Innes, our research Inspector, has been working hard to look at ways of addressing wellbeing and mindfulness.

Brendan’s research work has led to a meeting with Professor Kate Hunt and and Dr Evangelia Demou of The University of Glasgow’s ‘Social & Public Health Services Unit’, both of who are working on ‘Understanding & Improving Health Within Settings & Organisations’.

The meeting was extremely positive with both parties committing at looking at ways in which we can improve wellbeing across our workplace.

Discussions are ongoing and may include free health checks for police officers and staff as well as awareness training around mindfulness.  Initially the proposals will focus on the collection of health data for the immediate benefit of staff.  Later, in the analysis phase, this data will be used to formulate a health strategy including the delivery of interventions.

Both strands of work are intended to, in a cost neutral fashion, benefit employees and the organisation as a whole.  This will be achieved by attending to the three pillars of increased wellbeing, positive culture change and increased performance through decreased sickness and mental health absenteeism.

Best Wishes


For Gordon’s recent piece on budget, demand and cyber crime in ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper follow the below link: