President’s evidence to Justice Committee

On October 23, ASPS President Ivor Marshall took part in a hearing of the Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament.

The session was aimed at scrutinising the progress of police and fire reform and focused on the views of the staff associations and unions.

Chief Superintendent Marshall was joined by Chris McGlone, executive council member, Fire Brigades Union; Stuart Aitken, Fire and Rescue Services Association; Calum Steele, general secretary, Scottish Police Federation; and Derek Jackson, branch secretary, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service branch, Unison Scotland.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Ch Supt Marshall told the Committee it was important to remember the context that led to the creation of the single force, which was more than just financial. He said investment was still needed to be able to move from integration to transformation, and that concerns about the scale, complexity and scope of change still remain.

He said:

“For a business that is about people—in other words, people delivering services to the citizens of Scotland—there was not really a focus on officers and staff.

“Thankfully, the service has now recognised and started to address the issue.

“The important thing is that we are now one service and that we move forward.

“Now that we have put the structural and technical elements in place, we need to secure the right sustainable budget and focus on engaging and empowering all the people who work for Police Scotland to the fullness of their capability. Instead of asking, “What if we had had something else?”, we can improve things, and we can deliver all that was intended under the reform process.”

You can read the full official report of the Justice Committee here.