About ASPS

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents is one of three police staff associations in Scotland and currently represents the interests of some 151 Superintendents and Chief Superintendents in the Police Service of Scotland.  Sharing many common interests, the Association works closely with the Scottish Police Federation and the Scottish Chief Police Officers Staff Association as well as participating in regular discussions with representatives of Police Staff and groups representing the diverse views of Women, Gay and Black and Minority Officers working in the Service.  ASPS continues to work closely with the Chief Constable and Cabinet Secretary for Justice to ensure that Policing and Justice Policy is informed by the Senior Operational Leaders of the Service and with the recent appointment of the Scottish Police Authority are building relationships with the Chair and members.

Functions of the Association 

The Association considers and brings to the attention of the Chief Constable, Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Government, matters concerning the welfare and efficiency of Members and the Service.  In matters of importance at District level, the District representatives may raise matters with the relevant Chief Officer or through the agreed District structures.  In addition, the President and General Secretary play a vital role in the National JNCC, Police Negotiating Board (PNB) and PNB Scotland Standing Committee and Working Groups, which determine the Pay and Conditions of Service for all ranks in the Police Service.

The Executive Committee meets regularly to discuss issues affecting Policing, Criminal Justice and matters affecting Members of the Association.  In addition there is an Annual Joint meeting with the Executive Committees of the Police Superintendents’ Associations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  These Joint Meetings ensure that matters of national interest affecting the Service, Criminal Justice, Public Safety and the role and welfare of police superintendents are discussed in a broader arena and allow the Associations to present a common front.

The Annual Conference of the Association is held during May each year at a location determined by the Conference Organising Committee.  Conference provides an opportunity for debate and discussion on Key Policing, Safety, Security and Justice issues as well as matters affecting ASPS members’ interests.  The Association’s views and positions are drawn together in the President’s speech, which is then followed by a reply from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.  Conference speeches are given wide media coverage and provide an opportunity to publicise topics which the Association has chosen for particular campaigns.  Conference closes with the Annual Jack Urquhart Memorial Lecture, which reflects on a major Justice issue of the day and is held in honour of our previous General Secretary.

In addition to these fixed events, the Association regularly hosts events for members and stakeholders, which have a bearing on the development of Justice Policy in Scotland.  ASPS is consulted throughout the year on a wide range of issues including legislative change, reform of local government, matters affecting penal policy, crime and punishment, firearms, youth crime and issues affecting the police service as a whole.

Policy Issues

At any given time there are always a number of issues of current interest to the Association and the Police Service as a whole.  Consultation papers are circulated by the Secretariat for Members’ comments and the issues are debated at local and national level through the Executive Committee or sub groups, which make recommendations to the Executive.   In this way, the Association determines what its position or policy will be on any given issue.  Increasingly our views are sought by the media, particularly on high profile issues such as Policing Change, Serious and Violent Disorder, Firearms, Sentencing Policies, Criminal Justice Reform, Youth Crime, Child Protection, Hate Crime, etc.  Our News and Media Releases are available to view on this Website.

Members are consulted and kept informed through the Secretariat; President’s Bulletins; Newsletters; minutes of the Executive Committee; Circulars, etc.  District Representatives also inform and consult members on various local and national issues throughout the year.

Operational Matters

Through our members who are the Local Police Commanders in Police Scotland, work has begun to ensure that in partnership with Scotland’s communities and their representatives, ASPS Members will continue to deliver local policing in the national arena.  Local needs remain a top priority for ASPS as an organisation too and we will scrutinise Local Policing Plans, engage with local elected members and community organisations to ensure our policies reflect this.  Our Members who carry out Specialist roles in Police Scotland will ensure that their role in managing and commanding these essential services can be delivered in all areas of the country, making sure that no matter where you live issues such as violence and serious crime will be targeted.

Looking Ahead 

ASPS overriding principle is to act in the best interests of our Members, the Police Service of Scotland and the People we serve in the Communities across Scotland.  Our views do not always coincide with the sponsors of change but the Association has a reputation for objectivity, fairness and professionalism and over the years, members’ opinions and views have been influential in determining a range of policies and decisions.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents will continue to campaign locally and at national level on matters affecting our police service.  We have found that a particularly effective method of campaign has been to join with the other police staff associations to represent the Police view.

The ongoing changes to Scottish Policing, Criminal Justice and the Political landscape offer a challenging time ahead and we in ASPS will play our part in contributing to and shaping the outcome of the many debates ahead.  We are proud that the Association’s well established and long held policy of moving to a single Police Service for Scotland has now come to fruition and we look forward to working with the Chief Constable and Police Authority in ensuring that Police Scotland delivers a Safe and Secure Scotland for us all.

You can read a copy of the Association Constitution here.