|Police Service of Scotland
Seirbheis Phoilis na h-Alba
|Common name||Police Scotland|
|Logo of the Police Service of Scotland.|
|Motto||Keeping People Safe|
|Formed||1 April 2013|
|Annual budget||£1.2 Billion (fy 2013–14)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Map of Police area|
|Size||30,414 sq mi (78,772 km2)|
|Primary governing body||Scottish Government|
|Secondary governing body||Scottish Police Authority|
|Constituting instrument||Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012|
|Overviewed by||Scottish Police Authority|
|Headquarters||Police Service Of Scotland Headquarters
6 Mar Pl Alloa Clackmannanshire FK10 1AA 01259 723255
|Sworn members||17 258 police officers (not including 1400 Special Constables)|
|Unsworn members||5600 Police Staff|
|Minister responsible||Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice|
|Airbases||Glasgow City Heliport|
|Helicopters||1 (Eurocopter EC135)|
The Police Service of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Phoilis na h-Alba) is the police force responsible for law enforcement in Scotland. The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 named the new police force as the Police Service of Scotland and shortened to Police Scotland for operational purposes. Police Scotland was formed on 1 April 2013 and is the successor to eight pre existing territorial law enforcement agencies, the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.
Police Scotland is the second largest municipal police force in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has the primary responsibilities in providing law enforcement and investigation within the fourteen divisions of the force in Scotland. It is one of a few in the world to be merged into a completely national force.
The force has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources and is more able to commit to crime prevention than before the national force. In addition to police powers, the service is responsible for border control, coordinating search and rescue operations, criminal investigation and prosecution, et al. The service also has significant international and national responsibilities such as coordinating and leading on counter-terrorism matters, in particular, due to recent events such as the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack and the threat of Scotland being a potential location of further terrorist attacks on the Western world.
- 1 History
- 2 Executive Team
- 3 Ranks
- 4 Local policing areas and commanders
- 5 Local Policing Personnel Resources 
- 6 Specialist Crime Division
- 7 Licensing and Violence Reduction Division
- 8 Operational Support Division
- 9 Special Constabulary
- 10 Uniform & Equipment
- 11 Headquarters
- 12 Officers killed in the line of duty
- 13 Impact
- 14 Controversy
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
The Police Service of Scotland was founded in 2013, under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and, at that time, merged with the following law enforcement agencies:
- Central Scotland Police
- Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
- Fife Constabulary
- Grampian Police
- Lothian and Borders Police
- Northern Constabulary
- Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency
- Strathclyde Police
- Tayside Police
The Scottish Police Services Authority, which was a public body of the Scottish Government responsible for certain central services for police forces in Scotland was also merged into Police Scotland with the Scottish Police Authority holding the Police in Scotland to account.
After a consultation, the Scottish Government confirmed on 8 September 2011 that a single police service would be created in Scotland,. Further consultations resulted on a single Scottish police force, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill was published in January 2012. After scrutiny and debate by the Scottish Parliament, the legislation was approved on 27 June 2012. The Bill received Royal Assent as the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. The Scottish Government stated that "reform will safeguard frontline policing in communities by creating designated local senior officers for every council area with a statutory duty to work with councils to shape local services. Establishing a single service aims to ensure more equal access to national and specialist services and expertise such as major investigation teams and firearms teams, whenever and wherever they are needed."
Key provisions of the legislation include:
- Formal opportunities for the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise the service;
- New roles for councils to shape and scrutinise local delivery of policing;
- A designated local policing commander and local senior fire officer for each local authority area; and
- Clear responsibilities for the Chief Constable and, to ensure continued separation from Ministers, a new Scottish Police Authority with 11 to 15 members and a remit to effectively hold the Chief Constable to account.
In September 2012, Chief Constable Stephen House of Strathclyde Police was announced as the future first Chief Constable of Police Scotland. He was sworn into the post on 1 October 2012. Members of the Scottish Police Authority were appointed in October 2012. Its first chair, Vic Emery, was appointed in August 2012.
- Chief Constable: Sir Stephen House
- Deputy Chief Constable (Designated Deputy): Neil Richardson
- Deputy Chief Constable (Local Policing): Rose Fitzpatrick
- Deputy Chief Constable (Crime and Operational Support): Iain Livingstone
- Deputy Chief Constable (Commonwealth Games and Major Events): Steve Allen
- Assistant Chief Constable (Local Policing – East): Mike McCormick
- Assistant Chief Constable (Local Policing – West): Wayne Mawson
- Assistant Chief Constable (Local Policing – North): Campbell Thomson (Temporary)
- Assistant Chief Constable (Major Crime and Public Protection): Malcolm Graham
- Assistant Chief Constable (Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Safer Communities): Ruaraidh Nicolson
- Assistant Chief Constable (Operational Support): Bernie Higgins
All force executive officers are currently based in Stirling. The Assistant Chief Constables' salary depends on their previous experience and would normally fall between £90,000 and £106,000 a year. In 2014, Executive officers of the force were awarded a £10,000-a-year pay rise.
- Chief Constable
- Deputy Chief Constable
- Assistant Chief Constable
- Chief Superintendent
- Chief Inspector
- Constable (Regular (PC) or Special (SC))
The ranks of Constable to Inspector can be prefixed with the term "Police", which leads to the abbreviations of PC, PS/Sgt, PI/Insp respectively. Normally, however, the "Police" is omitted as it is unnecessary, except for the abbreviations – especially PC. A Police Constable is, therefore, properly titled and addressed "Constable (Full name or surname)". Detective officers of the ranks Constable to Chief Superintendent have their ranks prefixed with the term "Detective", e.g. Detective Constable.
Local policing areas and commanders
An individual policing plan has been drawn up for each of Scotland's 353 local council wards. In addition, each of the fourteen divisional commanders are "people who came up through the ranks in that part of the country". The divisional commanders are as follows:
Overall Local Policing Commander: Deputy Chief Constable (Local Policing) Rose Fitzpatrick
- West Command: Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson
- Argyll & West Dunbartonshire (L Division): Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan
- Ayrshire (U Division): Chief Superintendent Gillian MacDonald
- Dumfries & Galloway (V Division): Chief Superintendent Kate Thomson
- Greater Glasgow (G Division): Chief Superintendent Andy Bates
- Lanarkshire (Q Division): Chief Superintendent Nelson Telfer
- Renfrewshire & Inverclyde (K Division): Chief Superintendent Alan Spiers
- East Command: Assistant Chief Constable Mike McCormick
- Edinburgh (E Division): Chief Superintendent Mark Williams
- Fife (P Division): Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan
- Forth Valley (C Division): Chief Superintendent David Flynn
- Lothians & Scottish Borders (J Division): Chief Superintendent Gill Imery
- North Command: Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Thompson
- Aberdeen City (A Division): Chief Superintendent Adrian Watson
- Aberdeenshire & Moray (B Division): Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren
- Highland & Islands (N Division): Chief Superintendent Julian Innes
- Tayside (D Division): Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith
Police Scotland Officer Numbers
- National Resources are officers within specialist departments who are deployable across Scotland. This May include: National Intelligence Bureau, Homicide Governance and Review, Prison Intelligence Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, National Rape Investigation, National Rape Review, Fugitive Unit and Scottish Protected Persons Unit, International Unit, HOLMES, Safer Communities Citizen Focus, Preventions and Interventions, and Strategic Partnerships, Scottish Police Information and Coordination Centre, Intelligence, Specialist Operations Training, Air Support, Dive/Marine Unit, Football Co-ordination Unit, Mounted Unit, Mountain Rescue, Motorcycle Unit
- Regional Resources are officers within specialist departments who are deployable across the command. This may include: Major Investigation Teams, Forensic Gateways, E – Crime, Financial Investigations, Serious and Organised Crime Units, Counter Terrorism Units, Offender Management, Border Policing Command, Technical Support Unit and Interventions, Event and Emergency Planning, VIP Planning, Armed Policing Training, Road Policing Management & Policy, Armed Policing, Dogs, Trunk Roads Policing Group and Operational Support Units
- Divisional resources are the officers working within the community and response teams covering your local area. This would also include local CID officers.
|West Regional Resources||1364|
|Argyll & West Dunbartonshire (L Division)||570|
|Ayrshire (U Division)||862|
|Dumfries & Galloway (V Division)||371|
|Greater Glasgow (G Division)||2714|
|Lanarkshire (Q Division)||1465|
|Renfrewshire & Inverclyde (K Division)||678|
|East Regional Resources||939|
|Edinburgh (E Division)||1180|
|Fife (P Division)||839|
|Forth Valley (C Division)||633|
|Lothians & Scottish Borders (J Division)||964|
|North Regional Resources||584|
|Aberdeen City (A Division)||540|
|Aberdeenshire & Moray (B Division)||592|
|Highland & Islands (N Division)||632|
|Tayside (D Division)||968|
Specialist Crime Division
The Specialist Crime Division (SCD) provides access to national investigative and intelligence resources for matters relating to major crime, organised crime, counter terrorism, intelligence, covert policing and public protection. SCD comprises more than 2000 officers and targets individuals that pose the most significant threat to communities.
- Border Policing Command
- Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit
Police Scotland has limited responsibilities when it comes down to counter terrorism, with the Metropolitan Police being the main force behind counter terrorism operations throughout the UK. However, the SCD does have counter-terrorism in its remit, and relies on daily support from several UK agencies, including the MI5 and the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism at the Home Office.
- Major Investigation Teams
Major Investigation Teams (MITs) are located throughout Scotland and are responsible for leading the investigation of all murder inquiries and large-scale and complex criminal investigations. Although each MIT will be responsible for investigating cases within its own area, where required they will be able to be deployed anywhere in the country to respond to need and demand.
- National Counter Corruption Unit
The National Counter Corruption Unit is the first of its kind in UK policing and works in partnership with the public sector to prevent corruption in publicly funded organisations. The unit also offers a specialist investigative capability. The unit is split into two teams, one focused internally within Police Scotland whilst a second team focuses on other publicly funded organisations.
- National Human Trafficking Unit
The existing Scottish Intelligence Coordination Unit and Strathclyde Police Vice and Trafficking Unit combined on 1 April 2013 to form the new National Human Trafficking Unit (NHTU).
- National Rape Taskforce
The investigation of rape and other sexual offences is a key priority for Police Scotland. National Rape Taskforce units are located in Glasgow and Aberdeen and work alongside Divisional Rape Investigation Units. They provide a national investigative capacity and a case review function.
- Prison Intelligence Unit
The Prison Intelligence Unit (PIU) provides an interface for the exchange of information and intelligence between Police Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service. The unit also develops and supports policy, procedure, planning, research, technology development, advice and communication between Police Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service.
Licensing and Violence Reduction Division
The Licensing and Violence Reduction Division (LVRD) contains a number of miscellaneous functions including the titular alcohol licensing and violence reduction teams.
- Domestic Abuse Task Force
One of the higher-profile units within the LVRD is the Domestic Abuse Task Force (DATF). The DATF has a presence in each of the command areas as DATF (West), DATF (East) and DATF (North). The DATF (North) is unique amongst the three in having sub-offices in N Division (Highlands and Islands), A/B Division (Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire & Moray) and D Division (Tayside). The DATF has national responsibility for pro-actively addressing domestic abuse. Its divisional equivalents are the Domestic Abuse Investigation Units.
Operational Support Division
- Roads Policing
Policing of Scotland's roads network is shared between 14 Divisional Road Policing Units (DRPUs) aligned with their respective Local Police Division which have the aim of achieving casualty reduction and wider operational objectives and a dedicated Trunk Road Patrol Group (TRPG) patrols the motorway and trunk road network. The TRPG operates from bases in Dalkeith and Stirling in the east, Glasgow, Irvine, Lockerbie and Motherwell in the west and Fort William, Inverness, Perth and Stonehaven in the north.
- Operational Support Unit
Six operational support units (OSUs) have been established to provide specially skilled officers trained in over ground search, public order and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) response. When not utilised in their specialist roles OSU officers are deployed in local communities focussing on issues as directed by demand. OSUs are based in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee (North), Edinburgh and Alloa (East) and Glasgow (West). Across the force area the OSU comprises a total of 6 Inspectors, 18 Sergeants and 172 Constables.
- Armed Response
Prior to the creation of Police Scotland, only urban areas benefited from full-time dedicated firearms officers. This has been extended to all 14 local policing divisions in Scotland, each of which have their own dedicated armed response vehicle (ARV) teams. Throughout Police Scotland, around 450 officers are trained in firearms. Officers authorised in carrying firearms carry a Taser, a Glock pistol, and a Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun. Recently, Chief Constable Sir Stephen House authorised firearms officers to carry handguns in a holster while on routine patrol. Previously, firearms officers had to collect weapons from a locked safe in an armed response vehicle under the authorisation of a senior officer. Firearms officers can also respond to incidents that are not firearms related.
- Dog Branch
- Air Support Unit
Police Scotland have an Air Support Unit based at Glasgow City Heliport, which consists of one helicopter. The helicopter is owned and operated by Bond Air Services under contract for Police Scotland, with the three crew comprising one civilian pilot and two police officer observers.
The most recent helicopter operated was the Eurocopter EC135 T2+ helicopter which crashed into The Clutha Vaults pub on 29 November 2013. There is currently a loan helicopter from the National Police Air Service at Prestwick Airport (Eurocopter EC135 T2 G-CPSH, formerly of the Chiltern Air Support Unit), it is unclear when this will be stationed at the Glasgow Heliport.
The Air Support Unit was originally part of Strathclyde Police, one of the forces which amalgamated to form Police Scotland and they originally operated the helicopter involved in the 2013 Glasgow helicopter crash. Strathclyde Police were the only force to have an air component when Police Scotland was formed in April 2013. The Police Scotland and Strathclyde Police Air Support Units have suffered a total of three hull-loss accidents involving their aircraft, two of which resulted in fatalities.
- On 24 January 1990, a Bell 206 JetRanger G-EYEI, normally used by Radio Clyde and covering for unavailability of the police MBB Bo 105 helicopter crashed in Giffnock, Glasgow after suffering engine failure during a sudden, severe snow storm. The aircraft wasn't fitted with the necessary "Snow Deflector Kit" and suffered from choking of the engine air intake, resulting in the engine failing. The aircraft hit a five story building whilst attempting to land and crashed to the ground, causing the death of 32 year old police observer Sergeant Malcolm Herd. The remaining three crew (two police officers and one pilot) survived the accident.
- On 19 February 2002, a Eurocopter EC135 T1 G-SPAU crashed in a field near Muirkirk in East Ayrshire whilst conducting a search for a possible missing child. The crew, comprising two police officer observers and one pilot escaped serious injury, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and scrapped. Accident investigators were unable to confirm a definitive cause for the accident, but issued two recommendations to improve safety.
- Marine and Underwater Unit
Two full-time units skilled in both underwater search and marine capability are based in Greenock in the west (1 Sergeant and 11 Constables) and Aberdeen in the north (dive supervisor and four Constables). A number of non-dedicated divers are retained across the country to provide additional resources within this specialism.
- Mounted Branch
The mounted police branches of Strathclyde Police and Lothian and Borders Police were merged prior to the formation of Police Scotland. The combined branch now provides mounted support throughout Scotland. The mounted branch is based in Stewarton, East Ayrshire and has a strength of 22 horses.
- Mountain Rescue
Police Scotland operate four mountain rescue teams.
Special Constables are unpaid volunteers who have the same powers as their full-time counterparts. Special Constables are sworn in members of the police force and as such have the same powers as regular officers. Special Constables must dedicate a minimum of 90 hours per year of duty time. A "Recognition Award Scheme" is a payment of £1000 (taxable) that is currently available for Special Constables who work at least 180 hours of duty per year. The scheme is currently under review however there will be no change to the scheme during this financial year: 2014/2015. Currently a range of options are being considered in regard to the Recognition Awards Scheme but no final decisions have yet been taken regarding this.
Special Constables undertake a new standardised comprehensive training program which normally runs over a course of at least 15 weekends or evenings. When on duty, they wear the same uniform as their regular counterparts. In some divisions they can be identified as Special Constables by their collar numbers and the 'SC' on their epaulettes although this is not the case across Scotland. Special Constables provide Police Scotland with extra valuable resources that can be utilised in time of need, and they usually work alongside regular officers on neighbourhood teams, response teams, SCD and OS. Special Constables can be deployed to the location of their liking.
Uniform & Equipment
Uniform is currently being standardised across Scotland although a number of items were common across all of the legacy forces. Black body armour and black wicking shirts were issued across Scotland and remain as part of the Police Scotland uniform. A high visibility body armour cover with attachment points for items of equipment and black micro fleeces (worn under body armour) are now part of the standard uniform. Black trousers of varying styles are issued across Scotland.
Personal equipment consists of a police duty belt holding handcuffs, an expandable baton and CS spray some officers are also issued with an X26 Taser mainly in Glasgow and Edinburgh areas.In some divisions this equipment is attached to body armour instead of being carried on a belt. Primarily in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians and Scottish Borders divisions (G, E and J divisions respectively), officers are issued hand held computers which are known as a Personal Data Assistant (PDA) instead of a pocket notebook. All Police Scotland officers when on duty are issued with Motorola MTH800 radios for use with the Airwave network.
Police Scotland has a fleet consisting of approximately 3,000 vehicles. This is soon to be boosted to 3500 with a recent contract between the Scottish Police Authority and Ford with the supplying of 124 Ford Focus Estates and 58 Ford Transit Customs. All Police Scotland high-visibility marked vehicles are marked up with a "half-Battenburg" style of markings.
The standard marked patrol vehicle for response and neighbourhood officers has been the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Although these are gradually being phased out in favour of the newer Ford Focus Estate in most divisions, and some the newer Vauxhall Astra Estate. A number of Ford Mondeos, Ford Transits, Ford Transit Connects, Vauxhall Vivaros, VW Transporters and Mercedes Vitos are also included in the core of response and neighbourhood fleet.
For roads policing, the standard vehicles are Audi's A4 and A6, Land Rover Freelanders, Volvo V70 Estates, Toyota Land Cruisers, BMW X5s, Mitsubishi Outlander GX2s, BMW 5 and 3 Series. For OSU officers, the standard vehicles are Mercedes Sprinters and IVECO Dailys. SCD officers tend to use semi-marked vehicles, such as Ford Focuses unless on certain operational purposes were they would use complete unmarked vehicles. Vauxhall Movanos are also included in the fleet and some act as mobile offices. Some of these vehicles are modified for police usage with radios installed, lights, sirens and a 'run lock' facility enabling officers to take the keys out of the ignition without stopping the engine running, thereby ensuring the battery isn't depleted if the lights need to be left on for long periods of time.
The Police Scotland HQ is temporarily located at 6 Mar Place, Alloa. The policing college is located at Tulliallan Castle, Fife. Modern-day Tulliallan Castle is about a half mile to the southeast of the old castle, built in 1818–1820 for Viscount Keith. The building was acquired by the Mitchell family in 1924. During World War II, it was the headquarters of the Polish Armed Forces in the West. Prior to the Second World War there was no central training for police officers in Scotland, but immediately thereafter it was decided that probationer Constables from all forces should be trained centrally and that some training for more senior officers should also be provided. The result was Tulliallan, purchased in 1950 by the then Scottish Home Department for £9,100. The building was modernised and renovated and the first courses for inspectors and sergeants began in 1954. Tulliallan Castle has since been the home of the Scottish Police College.
Officers killed in the line of duty
- PC Tony Collins, Died 29 November 2013, aged 43; As part of the Air Support Unit he died when the Police Scotland helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow city centre.
- PC Kirsty Nelis, Died 29 November 2013, aged 36; As part of the Air Support Unit she died when the Police Scotland helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow city centre.
- Captain David Traill, Died 29 November 2013, aged 51; As part of the Air Support Unit he died when the Police Scotland helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow city centre.
- PC Mark Murtagh, Died 16 May 2014; Travelling to Galashiels Police Office to commence duty his motorcycle was involved in a fatal collision with a bus.
With Police Scotland superseding the eight former regional forces and the SCDEA, the service also incorporated the Scottish Police Services Authority – which included the Scottish Police College. The Police Service of Scotland is held to account by the new Scottish Police Authority.
Police Scotland does not include the British Transport Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary or the Ministry of Defence Police, that operate on a UK-wide basis and come under the oversight of the UK Government. However, there has been calls from the Scottish Government to hand over further devolution powers which would mean BTP Scotland would come under the oversight of the Scottish Government and would most likely merge into Police Scotland.
A national non-emergency phone number (101) was introduced on 21 February 2013. When a caller dials 101, the system determines the caller’s location and connects them to a call handler in the police service centre for their area. The 101 non-emergency phone is intended for situations when an emergency response is not required, in order to reduce pressure on the 999 system.
Even before coming into force, it was widely reported that the new Chief Constable, Stephen House, and the Scottish Police Authority were in disagreement over the control of backroom staff.
Force logo and the Court of the Lord Lyon
In February 2013 it came to light that the previously announced logo for Police Scotland could not be used as the Force had failed to seek approval from the Court of the Lord Lyon. This new symbol, a stylised thistle upon a Scottish saltire shield, failed to meet the longstanding heraldic rules of the Lyon Court and was thus discarded.
A permanent logo was not approved in time for the 1 April 2013 creation of Police Scotland, but the pre-2013 crowned thistle emblem was finally (re)introduced in July 2013. This emblem was originally designed for the former Dumfries Constabulary by Robert Dickie Cairns (1866–1944), an art teacher at Dumfries Academy. With minor artistic variations, it was also used by all the regional Scottish police forces before 1 April 2013.
Public counter and control room closures
In October 2013 Police Scotland announced proposals to close 65 out of 215 public counters within police stations throughout the country and reduce opening hours at others. Police Scotland cited a drop in the number of people visiting public counters and the development of new ways for the public to contact the police, including the 101 telephone number and contact points which connect callers at police stations directly to officers, as reasons for the proposed closures. The plans were condemned by some opposition MSPs.
It was also announced in October 2013 that the number of police control rooms in Scotland was under review, with the possibility of 7 out of 10 control rooms closing. Controls rooms considered for closure include Aberdeen, Inverness and Dumfries.
- Law enforcement in Scotland
- Law in Scotland
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland
- Scottish Ambulance Service
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
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- Police Roll of Honour Trust
- Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012
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- Police Scotland
- Police Scotland Roll of Honour
- Logo and visual corporate identity of Police Scotland, as approved by the Scottish Police Authority
- Photograph of the original proposed Police Scotland logo (since discarded)
- Consultation document: Keeping Scotland Safe and Strong: A Consultation on Reforming Police and Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland
- Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill
- Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland