Police Scotland, came into existence on the 1st April 2013. It is a single national police force and replaced eight regional forces. The Scottish Government felt that one force would be more financially efficient and would tackle crime more effectively.
As well as Police Scotland, there are a number of other police forces which operate in Scotland. These include:
The overall job of the police is to protect the community, prevent crime if possible and once a crime has been committed, apprehend those responsible.
Police Scotland officers have a number of roles:
It is obviously preferable if the police can prevent crimes from being committed. A considerable amount of police resources are spent on educating people on how to look after their possessions and informing the public of the consequences of particular crimes, such as knife carrying or drink-driving.
Police Scotland officers can stop and search a person without having a search warrant if the officer suspects the person of being in possession of any of the following:
A great deal of Police Scotland's more visible work is managing large crowds often at big sporting occasions or demonstrations. The priorities are public safety and ensuring that those present do not break the law.
Traffic police have the responsibility of enforcing road traffic laws, traffic management and road safety. Speeding motorists and drunk drivers are the most obvious and serious road issues that traffic police deal with.