Police offered purse strings

In a report, published jointly with the Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland, the commission makes 20 recommendations to give police forces greater certainty over funding and allow them to obtain better value for money.

Robert Black, controller of audit at the commission, said: ‘The report breaks new ground as it is based on collaborative working between two bodies with separate audit and inspection responsibilities. By working together, we have been able to paint the complete picture of police financial management in Scotland.’

The study found that forces should provide saving incentives and use part of the money saved for local policing needs. It also urged the Scottish Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, to review the financial framework for policing in Scotland.

Graham Bennet, deputy chief constable of Fife Constabulary and secretary of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland’s finance standing committee, said: ‘It is important that the police service achieves optimum value for money and chief constables appreciate this can be done by devolving parts of their budgets to local commanders, to assist them in devising local solutions to local problems.

‘All Scottish forces are making progress in this area, in tandem with national regulations.’

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