Virtual future of policing fails to impress community councillors

A document outlining Police Scotland’s 10-year vision for the future left Lerwick community councillors distinctly unimpressed, with none having managed to wade through the masterpiece of “officialese gone mad”.

The councillors were keen not to criticise local police but nonetheless noted there had been no police attendance at the last three community councils and said that police presence might have helped to make the document, entitled Serving a changing Scotland, “real”.

Councillor Stewart Hay was especially scathing of the document, saying that he had found it very difficult to read and engage with. He was staggered at some of the ideas for “virtual” policing.

Mr Hay said: “It is difficult to see how this vision of a virtual police station dealing with similar crimes [as those of today] but with methods of dealing with it that are all virtual will work. It is not convincing at all.

“I would think that the police would like to engage with organisations like this to make this real for us.”

The strategy is illustrated with various fictional scenarios comparing policing in 2016 with 2026, showing how technology and communications will improve the lot of the police officer and streamline the fight against crime.

Community council chairman Jim Anderson said that “in fairness to the local constabulary they have always been very good attenders at this meeting.”

Karen Fraser said that perhaps the police might like to attend and talk the community council through the document as it would be much better explained in a presentation.


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