Police Scotland’s divisional commander for the Highlands and Islands has said that road safety and reducing serious and fatal road accidents are his force’s number one priority for 2014/15.
Chief superintendent Julian Innes’ comments came on the first anniversary of the formation of Police Scotland (1 April) which has seen significant changes to the way policing is delivered, with greater emphasis on local community policing.
Chief superintendent Innes said: “Local communities have told us what our focus should be and we have listened.
“Road safety and the focus on reducing serious and fatal road collisions have been highlighted as the number one priority. In response to this the number of road policing officers has been increased with a new trunk road policing unit created in Fort William.
“The investment of £4.6 million in the new Fort William Police and Ambulance Station will ensure the best possible facilities for both Lochaber and the West Central Highlands. The shared service facility with the Scottish Ambulance Service is one example of forward thinking and I will be looking for more opportunities to work closer with partners next year.
“I am really pleased at the partnership approach between the police and the local councils, and the progress we are all making to support local policing and drive improvement.”
Speaking about the transition, Sir Stephen House, chief constable of Police Scotland, said: "The first 12 months of Police Scotland have allowed us a real opportunity to better target our policing resource to support local communities and tackle the issues that matter most to them in the places they live.
"By realigning our policing resource, we can put even more officers into the community, providing a visible policing presence on our streets and building on the high levels of public confidence policing in Scotland.
"Listening to the views of local communities we can set clear policing plans for every part of Scotland so the public and our partners can hold us to account for our performance against the priorities they set for us.”
Police Scotland’s Annual Police Plan 2014/15 sets out four policing priorities for the coming year: violence, disorder and antisocial behavior; road safety and road crime; protecting vulnerable people; and serious and organised crime and counter terrorism.
In addition to the overall plan, there are also 32 local policing plans to be approved by each local authority in Scotland and 353 multi member ward plans.