Positive Report for Lothian and Borders Police and Board following Best Value Inspection
Published: Tuesday, 06 December 2011
Audit Scotland and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland carried out their inspection earlier this year and have now published their findings.
- Lothian and Borders Police Force is performing well
- Crime continues to fall and overall performance is good
- The Force and Police Board deliver best value
The report, 'Lothian and Borders Police and Police Board - Best Value Audit and Inspection', highlights many strengths:
- a highly regarded approach to community policing working closely with key stakeholders and partners
- good Force performance and improved outcomes for communities tackling root causes of crime
- nationally recognised leadership of equalities and diversity
- a strong working relationship between the Board and the Force
- strong ownership of partnership and prevention strategy
- commitment by the Force and Board for continuous improvement and to make savings
The report recognises areas of progress already being made by the Board which it recommends should continue. These include: scope to further improve scrutiny of performance of the community policing strategy, improved training and development for members and better links with partners and other councils.
The report notes the challenge of reducing occurrences of serious violent crime, and the Force has recently launched a Violence Reduction Strategy to meet this.
The audit also highlighted that performance on crime detection has been good but there is further scope to improve on detection rates and service user satisfaction.
Councillor Iain Whyte , Convener of the Lothian and Borders Police Board, welcomed the report's conclusions.
He said: "This is the first time that the Board and Force have been audited and it is encouraging that the Audit Scotland report recognises the Force's strong performance and the many positive strategies we have in place.
"The Police Board has been strongly committed to improvement and I'm pleased the report has acknowledged this. Improvement plans are already in place for most of the recommendations put forward and we are committed to making positive progress on all fronts."
"I am especially pleased that the report has welcomed the strong working relationships between the Board and the Force which we delivered for local communities. These relationships have contributed to a strategy that has delivered improved performance, reduction in crime and considerable efficiency savings."
David Strang, Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "This report is very positive about the performance of the Force and many of the issues it highlights had been identified previously through our own self assessment process.
"Lothian and Borders Police are continually seeking ways in which to improve the already high quality of service it provides to the public. External scrutiny by a professional body is always of value in this regard and as such this report is very useful."