The aim of this thematic inspection was to assess the state, effectiveness and efficiency of road policing arrangements in Scotland.
HMICS has never previously conducted a thematic inspection of road policing in Scotland and it is now almost 16 years since the last major inspection of road policing in Great Britain. The findings of this thematic inspection should be of interest to all stakeholders with an interest in road policing and its overall contribution to road safety and security outcomes in Scotland and beyond.
Our fieldwork took place during February 2014, which was only 10 months after the creation of Police Scotland and our findings should be interpreted against the background of major reform. The inspection nonetheless provided a timely opportunity to examine Police Scotland and objectively assess how the new national structures and functions needed to deliver road policing have been implemented. We also considered what impact this major change has had in terms of maintaining performance and delivering outcomes to communities.
The Scottish Government set three objectives for police reform:
(i) to protect and improve local services,
(ii) to create more equal access to specialist support and national capacity, and
(iii) to strengthen the connection between police services and communities.
We have taken the opportunity during this inspection to reflect on the extent to which these reform objectives are being achieved in terms of road policing.