Civilianisation of Police in Scotland – Stewart Report update March 2013

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This report on ‘Civilianisation of Police in Scotland’ commissioned by UNISON Scotland from consultants Stewart Research (a follow-on from earlier work prepared in 2008) shows clear benefits in having a modern balanced police team, instead of cutting police staff and using police officers to backfill their posts at great cost.

Summarising the scope for further civilianisation of the police in Scotland, the report concludes that although civilianisation of policing “primarily arose in an attempt to generate cost savings and develop more specialist functions in areas such as forensics, recent workforce modernisation (WFM) studies in England & Wales demonstrate that further civilianisation allied to a reconfiguration of police personnel is associated with a wide range of performance, economic, stakeholder and community benefits for police forces. These studies also clearly demonstrate the effective use of staff in operational roles.”

“In the WFM studies, using staff alongside officers allows: performance improvements in terms of the freeing up of police officer time, the establishment of new police functions and the quality of service; savings in costs and greater efficiencies of service; personnel benefits in terms of the increased morale and commitment of staff, recruitment and levels of diversity in the police service; and public benefits in terms of the provision of more dedicated services, the greater visibility of ‘beat’ personnel and local intelligence gathering.”