Police praised but still room for improvement

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Central Scotland Police and the police authority are performing well – but could do better.

That’s the findings of a joint report by the Accounts Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) which is published today (Thursday).

It looked at how the force and the joint police board delivered Best Value.

The review found the force performs to a good standard, public satisfaction is improving, overall crime rates continue to fall, detection rates remain high and the force continues to manage its resources well.

However, it needs to evaluate its partnership working to share best practice, improve analysis of its community policing model and review lead arrangements for equality issues.

Andrew Laing, HM’s Inspector of Constabulary, said: “There are areas identified for further improvement but this is in the context of a force and board that are performing well.”

Chief Constable Derek Penman said: “This report should provide reassurance to our communities. The inspection has also highlighted areas for further improvement and we are currently addressing these to ensure we continue to deliver a high quality of policing and service.”

Councillor Jim Blackwood, board convener, said: “It’s a positive and encouraging report and provides us with confidence that the citizens of Forth Valley are being well served by their police force.

“There are many challenges ahead and I look forward to working closely with the chief constable and his staff in helping them to continue to deliver efficient service to local communities.”

Paying tribute to the previous board and convener, he added: “We have a good force, a good board and we’re working well together.”