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Proposals Made for Single Scottish Police Force

Controversial plans have been put in place for a single national Scottish police force. The Scottish Police Federation, representing 16,500 police officers, is against the move for a single police force, while the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents is in favour of the proposals.

The issues were also debated at the first session of the Scottish Parliament election hustings, which were hosted by the Law Society of Scotland on 13 April 2011. Panellists from Scotland’s political parties discussed whether the single police force would be beneficial. Also debated at the hustings were various other issues regarding Scottish criminal justice, such as the Supreme Court’s decision in Cadder v HMA and its aftermath and the legal aid budget as it stands in current difficult economic circumstances.

Representing one chain of political thought, Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott is, on Tuesday 19 April 2011, to note that the Scottish Liberal Democrats oppose the creation of a single Scottish police force and that there is a need for police forces “that understand the communities they serve - Lerwick is not the same as Glasgow. Stornoway is not the same as Aberdeen. Dumfries is not the same as Edinburgh.” On the other hand, parties in favour of the move cite cost savings resulting from a united police force.

With policing reform still being the subject of a consultation expected to be published in May 2011, it remains to be seen whether Scotland's eight police forces will merge into one by 2014, or whether a smaller number of regional police forces will be preferred. Criminal defence in Edinburgh in terms of procedure and dealing with the police remains unchanged at present.

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Saturday, 25 May 2024

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