The biggest change to Scottish policing for forty years went ahead without a business case from the SNP Government, says Graeme Pearson who will lunch his report on policing in Scotland today.
The Scottish Labour Justice Spokesperson will outline a string of failings in the formation of Police Scotland, and outline his recommendations to restore trust and public faith in Scottish police.
The Pearson Review will reveal that the SNP Government failed to set out a business case for Police Scotland despite Pearson calling for one at the first evidence gathering session of their Justice committee in February 2012.
His review also features contributions from police staff and officers from across Scotland and will reveal a string of problems with local accountability, IT systems and the relationship between the Scottish Police Authority, senior management in Police Scotland and the SNP government.
Introducing the report, Graeme Pearson writes:
“The people of Scotland need and deserve a police force that does its job thoroughly and efficiently. It has been increasingly clear in recent years that Police Scotland is not working properly.
Going around the country, listening to what ordinary officers, staff, members of the public and local politicians have had to say has painted a worryingly consistent picture of a centralised, politicised and autocratic police force with little to no meaningful local accountability.
All this has emerged as a consequence of the Scottish Government’s handling of the formation of Police Scotland.
This Review is a distillation of these concerns, and a contribution to the process of shaping our police service and holding it to account that is essential in any democracy.”
On the failure of the SNP Government to produce a business case, Mr Pearson writes:
“The Scottish Government has failed to produce a full business case for Police Scotland. Many MSPs asked for one, including myself. In fact, I asked for the full business case at the first evidence-gathering panel held by the Justice Committee into the Police and Fire Reform Act 2012.
A business case should set out the justification for the reform; the justification for following this reform instead of taking another action; of the costs involved; and a detailed expectation of the benefits of the project. Creating a single police force is the biggest public service reform in Scotland since devolution, and the biggest change to policing in 40 years.
Yet there is no business case that was shared ahead of time to educate the public of the reforms being undertaken and the expected impact. And no business case to consult now to determine how the structures, as currently operating, compare to the vision set out by Ministers.”