Policing in Scotland: June 2015

The focus of this issue is to offer a set of broader and deeper reflections on recent changes to policing in Scotland. There are also articles on trauma and research, women in the criminal justice system and third sector funding, and much more. Read on.

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Theme editorial: broadening and deepening the debate about police reform in Scotland

EditorialTheme editors Nick Fyfe and Alistair Henry explain that “this Special Issue of Scottish Justice Matters attempts to offer a set of broader and deeper reflections on the recent changes to policing in Scotland.”

Scottish police force amalgamations and mergers; a historical perspective

“Examination of the earlier history of amalgamation enables us to better understand the uniqueness of the circumstances that produced Police Scotland in 2013.”
Louise Jackson is a reader of Modern Social History, University of Edinburgh. Neil Davidson is a researcher with the Scottish Government. David Smale is an expert on the history of Scottish policing.

Policing, prevention and the rise of stop and search in Scotland: a short history

“Digging deeper, it can . . .be argued that search practices in Scotland originate from a distinctive way of thinking about the policing role; to a preventative outlook premised on the use of police powers that now seems taken for granted, but,as this article aims to demonstrate, was not always thus.”
Kath Murray is an SCCJR research associate at the University of Edinburgh. She blogs on stop and search at http://scottishjusticematters.com/author/kathmurray/

Scottish policing: has there been real reform?

“I suggest that the key question to be answered is whether the fundamental exercise of police authority over citizens is transformed in substantial ways: does on-the-ground local policing look significantly different?”
Diamid Harkin is is a lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia and has conducted a number of studies into community policing in Scotland.

Scottish policing and procedural justice: two experiments

procedural exps

  • Police training and procedural justice: evidence from the Scottish Police and Citizen Engagement (SPACE) Trial. “What the police do is clearly important, but how they go about this is perhaps equally, if not more important to the public and may have a significant impact on how the latter perceive the police, engage with them, and rate the service they provide.”
    Annette Robertson is senior lecturer in Criminology and Lesley McMillan is professor of Criminology and Sociology, Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • Procedural justice in practice: findings from the Scottish Community Engagement Trial (ScotCET).Procedural justice theory is increasingly used to inform the development of policing practice in Scotland and beyond, but with only scarce evidence on how its various elements should be operationalised and what police can do in a practical sense to enhancetrust and legitimacy.”
    Sarah MacQueen is a research fellow for the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Edinburgh Law School. Ben Bradford is lecturer in Criminology in the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.
Crime reduction through regulations: violent disorder and the licensed trade

reduction regulation“Two murders, 5994 kilometres (3724 miles) and 45 months apart, illustrate the value of police-researcher knowledge transfer.”
James Royan is a Chief Inspector with Police Scotland. John E. Eck is professor of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati, USA.

Policing must be local but also informed by global experience

“From my perspective the police service is absolutely core to the effective operation of any democracy worthy of the name”.
Paddy Tomkins, former Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police and head of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, talks to Andy Aitchison, lecturer in Criminology at the University of Edinburgh about his work with the Serbian Ministry of the Interior (MUP).

Crime prevention and the development of the Safer Communities Evidence Matrix Scotland (SCEMS)

“(SCEMS) is a knowledge exchange tool which aims to provide easy access to evidence on policing and community safety from Scotland.”
Dr Liz Aston is senior lecturer in Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University. Dr Cynthia Lum is associate professor and director of the Centre for Evidence Based Crime Policy at George Mason University, Virginia, USA.

Policing antisocial behaviour in rural Scotland

antisocial“By examining the distinctive ways in which rural police officers respond to ASB it is possible [ . . .] to argue that the rural context is a key consideration when thinking about the way that the policing of ASB is carried out throughout Scotland.”
Andrew Wooff has recently been appointed as a lecturer in Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University.

Reform, research and ‘re-invention’

“In this final contribution we place the changes in Scotland in this broader context, underlining the differences in the trajectories of reform across the UK but also the underlying similarities . . .”.
Nick Fyfe and Alistair Henry.

Current issues

Funding and third sector organisations working with offenders: some observations from Scandinavia and Scotland

“The potential effects of contract funding for TSOs working with offenders have received little attention apart from in England and Wales, although contracts as a way of funding TSOs are becoming more important, particularly in the area of health and social care.”
Maija Helminen is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Turku, Finland.

Coping with victimisation: trauma and the criminal justice researcher

copoing victimisation“. . . like victims themselves, the researcher must be able to acknowledge, express, and work through these painful experiences in a supportive environment.”
Stephanie Fohring is a criminologist and research fellow at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh.

Scotland needs a shared, bold, coherent strategy on women who offend

“There is clearly a need for a joined up, comprehensive policy for women who offend, or are at risk of offending: a policy that pays equal attention to diverting women from the criminal justice system, the delivery of credible community based sentences, and restricts the use of custody.”
Anne Pinkman is chief officer of the Fife and Forth Valley CJA, and convenor of the Scottish Working Group for Women Offenders.

Imprisoning mothers: the impact on children and families

” . . . questions about the impact of custody should be asked systematically at key stages throughout the criminal justice process.”
Nancy Loucks is the chief executive of Families Outside, a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Law, Crime and Justice, and a member of the SJM editorial board.


Police reform in the Netherlands and Scotland compared

terpstra” . . . recent research shows that there may be aserious implementation gap between the legal and formal aspects of police reform and how they are put in practice.”
Jan Terpstra is professor of criminology at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


Has Scotland’s falling crime rate benefited everyone equally?

“Both police statistics and crime surveys in Scotland agree that there has been a substantial drop in crime over the last 20 years. This suggests, at face value, that
we should all be at less risk of becoming a victim. But is this really the case?”

Susan McVie is chair of Quantitative Criminology and director of AQMeN at the University of Edinburgh. Paul Norris is senior lecturer in Social Policy and coinvestigator of AQMeN at the University of Edinburgh. Rebecca Pillinger is an AQMeN research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.


“The benefit sanctions are brutal”

Circle interview“First of all we don’t talk about offenders, we talk about Mums and Dads. It is important to respect people’s roles as parents rather than have them defined in other ways.”
Maura Daly, director of operations and Liz Dahl, CEO of Circle, interviewed by Mary Munro.


A week in the life of a prison governor

Rhona Hotchkiss, governor of HMP Dumfries, shares a typical week with SJM.

Take 5

How can the tradition of localism in Scottish policing be enhanced within a national police force?

Take5300 words each from MSPs Michael Matheson, Hugh Henry, Margaret Mitchell, Alison McInnes and John Finnie in answer to our question.

Book review

Ali Malik reviews Conviction: Violence, culture and a shared public service agenda by John Carnochan (2015) Argyll Publishing.

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