Scottish Labour Start Policing Review

31 August 2015, 07:23

Scottish Labour are to begin their own review of policing in Scotland.

The review of Police Scotland will be led by justice spokesman and former senior police officer Graeme Pearson, focusing on staffing, targets and local accountability.

The launch announced in Glasgow follows a number of controversies surrounding Scotland's single force.

Independent investigations are under way in to the death in custody of Fife man Sheku Bayoh and officers' failure to respond to reports of a fatal crash on the M9 in Stirlingshire.

Mr Pearson is the former head of crime and counter terrorism at Strathclyde Police and was director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.

He has been tasked by party leader Kezia Dugdale to assess the effectiveness of the single police force and propose reforms, Labour said.

The MSP will travel across Scotland speaking to officers, civilian staff, community groups and victim support workers as part of the review.

He said: "We supported the introduction of the single police force back in 2013, but something has gone badly wrong with its implementation. The resignation of Sir Stephen House was the right thing to do but the problems won't follow him out the exit door.

"Policing in Scotland needs a shake-up. We need to get back to the kind of community policing that made Scotland the envy of the world at one time.

"Labour will be bold and radical in our approach to policing in Scotland. In the coming months I will travel the country speaking to those on the front line. Communities across Scotland, and the police officers themselves, deserve better.''