FIFE’S police chief has pledged to defend measures which she believes have helped cut crime by half over the last six years, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Norma Graham vowed to continue with attempts to bring her force and the community closer together, despite government plans to create a national police service.
First Minister, Alex Salmond, revealed the proposal, which had long been anticipated, as the Scottish National Party administration unveiled its programme at parliament last Wednesday.
Mrs Graham accepted that the move was matter for the government, but added: ”Any decision needs to be informed by experienced police professionals, our community partners and - most importantly of all - the public.
“Throughout this period of change I will remain committed to taking forward my vision of taking policing closer to the community.
All police officers and staff will continue to work in delivery of a high-quality policing service, no matter where the lines on the map are drawn.
“Fife Constabulary has a strong identity and is rightly proud of its long tradition of delivering high-quality policing.
!”In the past six years crime has been reduced by nearly 50 per cent.
“Through meaningful engagement with the community, we have made a real difference by working together to tackle the issues of most concern to local people - this has helped deliver the highest reduction in recorded crime in Scotland during the past year.
“This connection between police and our community has led to a renewed public partnership that is derived locally and delivered locally.
It is essential that this approach to community policing - so highly valued by the public - is protected in the future national police force.
“Whilst there are significant questions about the governance, local accountability and the cost of future Scottish policing that still remain to be answered, all police officers and staff will engage positively with the Scottish Government and the police authority to deliver these reforms.
“I want to reassure all the people of Fife that, while the reforms are under way and at all stages of change, Fife Constabulary will remain dedicated to deliver the best outcome for all the communities across Fife.”