The theme of our centenary conference in May is: ‘The Courage to Lead: The Changing Face of
Police Superintendents’. One of the things I’ve been reflecting on is the sustained level of
courage you need as a leader within the police service, and the extent to which society turns
and looks at the police in moments of crisis.

We’ve probably never had such a polarising debate on a whole number of issues in society. A
lot of that plays out in the public realm, and some of it spills over into disorder and even

But right in the middle of all that is the police service. We are required to maintain a
dispassionate and objective viewpoint, and make sure that the service we deliver encapsulates
that. And of course there is a huge level of scrutiny on what we do.

Our first speaker at the conference will be Gamal Turawa, an ex-Metropolitan Police officer who
is now a trainer for diversity, inclusion and equality. His journey was captured in a Bafta-winning
short film, ‘The Black Cop’. The police service has been wrestling with bias, and both our
current and previous Chief Constables in Scotland acknowledge that.

What’s really important for both police officers and the public is that the service can track a route
out of that. How do we move forward and rebuild trust with our communities in Scotland? We
want to deliver a service that’s free from bias and discrimination, so that people within the
service know their job has value and that it doesn’t exclude people.

Following Gamal, we’ll have a round table, where representatives from the main political parties
in Scotland talk about their vision, and there’ll be opportunities for questions from the floor. It’s
really important, particularly given it’s a general election year, for our members to understand
the prospectus that each of the main parties is presenting for police leaders and police officers.
The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, Angela Constance, has confirmed
her attendance. We’ve also invited the current Home Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary,
and we hope they attend.

After lunch, scientist Dr Sophie Bostock will give a presentation on the power of sleep, and how
it affects performance and wellbeing. I know from personal experience the long hours that
Superintendents and Chief Superintendents work. But the reality is, the cumulative effect that
has on your job performance and your personal wellbeing is really significant. Helping our
members to better manage their sleep hygiene will have a hugely positive impact.

Then I will address the Conference, and the Chief Constable will respond after that. In my
address I’m keen to talk about the criticisms of policing, and counterbalance that with examples
of all the good that we do in society and everything we deliver for our communities.