As we approach the summer months I wanted to share with you some points of real significance from when I last wrote for the Glasgow Times.

At the recent Scottish Police Authority board meeting, the Chief Constable publicly addressed the matter of institutional discrimination within Police Scotland. His comments have been reported, debated and speculated on in the media and in wider society.

He made it clear that people don’t always get the service or experience from Police Scotland that they need or deserve and publicly acknowledging this is essential to our absolute commitment to championing equality and becoming an anti-racist service.

I would like to assure everyone across Greater Glasgow of that commitment. We are taking meaningful action to eliminate racist prejudice and disadvantage and demonstrate fairness in all aspects of policing. 

There is no place for prejudice within policing and there is no place for those who reject our values and standards. Our vigilance has never been stronger – rigorous recruitment, enhanced vetting, more visible conduct outcomes and a focus on prevention.

Officers swear an oath when they take up the Office of Constable to do their duty with fairness, integrity, diligence, impartiality and upholding human rights. Such an oath requires high levels of personal accountability.

The Chief Constable has great confidence in the values and character of our people – a position I wholeheartedly support. Officers and staff of the Greater Glasgow Policing Division do incredible things to keep you and your communities safe. I am continually impressed by the hard work, dedication and commitment they demonstrate every day.

Other significant and incredibly sad news was the domestic murder of Marelle Sturrock and her unborn baby, Jayden. Her death was felt deeply among the responding officers and more widely across the policing and Greater Glasgow community. Tragic crimes like this do not happen often but, when they do, they leave a mark on all of us as we struggle to understand why someone’s life can be taken so cruelly.

The football season has concluded but it did not pass without considerable demand on officers to keep people safe. We remain committed to supporting the rights of people to gather and express themselves while doing all we can to ensure those intent on causing disruption and disorder are met with a robust policing response. Several arrests were made over recent weeks and I hope those arrested are faced with the appropriate consequences from our wider justice system.

Our collaborative approach will continue with the season ahead as we work with partners to prevent violence and anti-social behaviour from occurring within and outwith the city’s football stadiums.

Supporting and engaging with our young people is still a priority for us and our campus officers are key to achieving this. They work closely with the school community and other partners and have more recently been delivering important lessons to our children and young people on personal safety and the risks involved in criminal activity. Their presence in our schools remains invaluable to increasing our visibility and accessibility and they are always available for advice and support.

We are committed to listening to all our communities so we can continually improve how we represent, reflect and serve you. We use your feedback to understand public confidence, where we can improve and build on what we are doing well and inform opportunities for partnership working and collaboration.

Please remember you can influence local policing in your area by engaging in our Your Police 2022/23 survey.

You can also speak to us when you see us, pop into your local police office or contact your local elected representative – they contribute to the local scrutiny of the policing service you receive.

The summer is a great time for concertgoers in Glasgow and brings the return of outdoor festivals, including TRNSMT, and events at Bellahouston Park. We understand the impact these can have on local communities and are already working hard to ensure anti-social behaviour is kept to a minimum and everyone enjoys the concerts safely. As ever, we will have an appropriate and proportionate policing plan in place to support all of this year’s festivals to help safeguard everyone taking part. 

For those of you enjoying Greater Glasgow’s many outdoor spaces, like some of our beautiful parks, I would ask you do so safely and with due consideration for others. Our outdoor spaces are for everyone to enjoy and anti-social behaviour and disorder will not be tolerated. Consuming alcohol in a public place is still prohibited – you could end up having it confiscated and being charged. 

The biggest event of the summer will be the UCI Cycling World Championships which take place from August 3 to 13. Glasgow will host eight of the 13 championships and will be responsible for the finish of the elite road races. The city will also host a fan zone.

The safety and security of those taking part and attending the event is the responsibility of the event organisers, who have asked for police support. Our planning has been ongoing for several months and we are working closely with organisers Transport Scotland and local authorities to minimise disruption.

Our aim is to keep people safe by working with partners and the organiser to help deliver a safe and secure event. I am confident we can achieve this given Police Scotland’s enviable reputation around the world for the policing of major events including the Commonwealth Games, UEFA Euro 2020, major golf championships and COP26.

Please look out for one another and please remember we are part of your community. Never hesitate to stop and say hello or ask us for help or assistance.

Enjoy the summer safely.