President’s Blog no.13


It’s been a hectic few months since my last blog with your Vice President Martin Fotheringham taking up a new post as Operations Superintendent at Forth Valley Division.  At the Executive meeting of 24 August, I raised this development with the exec and briefed attendees of my intention not to immediately replace Martin, instead run with Martin as Vice President in his new role and scope restructuring of our work to ascertain if we can effectively deliver an improved service for members with reduced resources.

The suggestion was subject of much debate leading to approval to trial the suggestion for six months whereupon the findings will be discussed by the exec and a decision made.

Executive Committee

Since taking up post as President there has been much movement across the committee with the following changes having taken place:

West Chair – Martin Fotheringham moved from East Chair.

West Vice – We welcome Stewart Carle to his 1st posting with the exec

North Chair – Innes Walker takes over from Angie McLaren who stood down due to present post location

North Vice – We welcome Athol Aitken to his 1st posting with the exec.

East Chair – We welcome Ivor Marshall to his 1st posting with the exec

East Vice – Andrew Allan continues in post

Co-opted Posts: Donna Henderson, Angie McLaren and Tony Beveridge (existing).

We are confident that you have elected a committee who will be representative of our members with each bringing something different to the table. Thank you to all who voted.

Thank you to everyone else who expressed a will to become a member of the executive and we still very much welcome and value your support. Three nominations to be co-opted members will be tabled at the next Executive Committee meeting.

Our latest meeting took place on 2 November in Aberdeen.  Once again there was a very strong turnout from members.  We are presently investigating ways of securely storing the minutes at a location accessible by members.

ASPS does not work across the ‘pnn’ network therefore we require an IT solution for this and should have a solution later this week. Failing that, we will send a personal copy of the minute to all members.

My sincere thanks to all who attended the meeting.

Senior Leadership Forum

The 2nd Senior Leaders Forum took place on 4 October 2016 and it was an ideal opportunity to catch up with many of our members. Clearly there is a lot of work ongoing within the service most of which is being driven by 2026.

I would encourage all members to share their views on the progress of 2026 as this is an opportunity for us all to shape the future.

The Chief Constable stated that he is keen for members to raise suggestions for discussion/briefing at the February meeting.  I have tabled wellbeing and mindfulness and will be looking to Inspector Brendan Innes to deliver a presentation on the work he is doing around this key subject.

Again, I would encourage you to make suggestions if you have any.

Promotion Process

I am delighted to see that the process commenced on Wednesday 5 October and can update you that I have sat in on four panels with many more scheduled. Personally, I think the new system of the line manager being on the panel has shown to be a positive move by the service.

I have had calls from some of our present temporary superintendent members asking for my views around another being posted into their present role if they (i) don’t apply for the process at present or (ii) the service opts to put another person in the post they occupy.

My position on this is clear, the service needs to get to the position, as quickly as practically possible, where there a little to no temporary posts.  This is critical in ensuring there is stability of leadership at this level and allow appropriate training to take place.

I am also of the belief that the Force Executive should use this opportunity to look at ‘opening up’ vacant posts (those with a temporary superintendent in post) to others who may wish some lateral development, a change of role or are newly promoted.

I recognise that some temporary superintendents have less time in the temporary role than others so may be less inclined to submit an application form, however, we also have many chief inspectors who have been successful through panel interview and they should not be prevented from taking up a substantive post quickly.

I urge you all to seriously consider submitting your applications without delay.

Strategic Plan

Some members of the ASPS Exec met to discuss the creation of a 3 year plan for the Association. The purpose of the plan is to identify key issues, providing a focus for delivering on them while being held accountable for delivery.

I am hopeful that this will make the Association transparent, relevant and accountable with a meaningful governance structure in place. Several key issues have been suggested and these have been circulated to all Executive Committee members for your information and will thereafter be circulated to all members for comment.

I would very much value your feedback on the key themes as this will help shape the future of the Association’s activities.

Joint Superintendent Survey

Earlier this year we were approached by PSAEW and PSNI to take part in a joint survey of superintendents to look at common themes and challenges. After discussion at the meeting of the Executive the survey was supported.

It shall run from 22 November until 12 December 2016.  The survey will be delivered online and is open to all superintending ranks including those in temporary posts. The last survey saw an 85% return rate and I would be delighted if we can get a similar return.

Can I please urge you all to take 15 minutes to complete the survey and provide us with your views of where we are at present.  The survey will be anonymous.

It is my intention to use the survey to help inform key themes around wellbeing, leadership and learning.

Leadership & Learning

We have had positive meetings with Angela Terry and Alan Gibson looking at training provision for superintending ranks. With circa two thirds of our superintending ranks having been promoted or temporarily promoted since April 2013 we believe there is a critical need to review the delivery of training for our members.

Work is ongoing regarding this and was raised at JNCC to ensure there is a continued focus on the subject.

Justice Committee

We are regularly invited to provide evidence to the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing on a range of matters.  I recently provided evidence regarding the proposed merger of BTP with Police Scotland.

I am scheduled to attend Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday 15 Nov) to provide evidence regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of COPFS.

On 24 November, I shall be giving evidence regarding ‘Police Scotland’s and the SPA’s preparations for the 2017-18 budget and their resource plans for the coming year’.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in preparation for the meetings however I would very much like to get more feedback so I can have confidence that my evidence is representative of our membership.

I am more than happy to receive an email, phone call or meeting to discuss matters.

On Duty Pilot

Firstly, can I thank everyone who took part for doing so and providing feedback re your experiences of the pilot.  I am aware that not everyone has submitted feedback.  If you haven’t been able to submit feedback yet can you please do so as this will form a large part of the evidence base when reviewing the impact of the pilot.

The Executive Committee discussed an extension of the pilot however this was discounted and it was agreed that the review should progress at the end of the pilot later this month.

Wellbeing Project

Inspector Brendan Innes continues to work hard with our partners from Glasgow University and we are hopeful of being able to provide a more comprehensive update early 2017.

ASPS Conference 2017

Date for the diary – next year’s conference will take place at the Police Scotland College on Wednesday 24 May 2017. More details to follow in my next blog.

Police Dependants Trust

The 50th Anniversary of the PDT is being marked with an awareness raising event in London on Tuesday 22 November.

Please have a look at for more info and follow them on Twitter @ThePDTrust as you never know when you may require their invaluable assistance and support.

CIMplexity Training

I am delighted to inform you all that the 1st course of the newly revamped CIMplexity Course will be held at the Police Scotland College on 29th and 30th November 2016.

This is an excellent course that all superintendents should endeavour to attend.

Divisional Visits

At the time of writing we have visited all divisions except Highland and Islands scheduled for Wednesday 16 November.

I am very grateful to everyone for hosting the meetings and providing honest feedback regarding your views around policing and the association.

We also have diary dates set aside to meet with specialist divisions.

As can be seen, we are working hard to represent your views, many of which have come from our divisional visits, however if you have something you wish us to take up on your behalf please do not hesitate to contact your local representative or call/visit me direct.

Kind Regards


Gordon Crossan


14 November 2016


For Twitter users please follow the President on @SupersCross and for your Association on @ScotPoliceSupts