Explanatory Notes

Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012

2012 asp 8

7 August 2012

The Act - Overview

3.The purpose of the Act is to create a single police service and a single fire and rescue service. The Act sets out the governance arrangements and framework for the new services. In addition, it provides:

4.The Act also places the arrangements for independent custody visiting in Scotland on a statutory footing. It ensures that independent custody visiting in Scotland complies with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

5.To facilitate the establishment of single services the Act abolishes the existing unitary police and fire authorities (Fife and Dumfries and Galloway) and the 6 joint police and joint fire and rescue boards which are established by amalgamation schemes made under the provisions of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 by bringing together a number of local authorities (who are individual police and fire and rescue authorities under the enabling legislation) to form joint boards.

6.The Act is in 3 parts. Part 1 deals with police, and has 17 Chapters and 100 sections. Part 2 deals with fire and rescue, and has 23 sections and Part 3 deals with general provisions with 7 sections. The Act also includes 8 schedules setting out the detailed arrangements in relation to a number of areas covered by the Act.

Part 1: Police Reform

7.Part 1 largely replaces the legislation underpinning policing in Scotland, the Police (Scotland) Act 1967, and puts in place a new modernised framework for policing. The Act also repeals Part 1, Chapter 1 of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 which established the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA). It amends Part 1, Chapter 2 of that Act which established the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland to rename it and extend the provisions in that Chapter to provide for more robust scrutiny of policing. Specifically, it makes provision for:

Part 2: Fire Reform

8.Part 2 amends the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 to establish the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and transfers to it fire-fighting, fire safety and other functions under that Act. Specifically, it makes provision for:

Part 3: General

9.Part 3 makes a number of general provisions relating to subordinate legislation, minor and consequential amendments to other legislation and commencement.