Police Scotland launch new national division – Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing Division

Police Scotland’s newest national division – Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing – has recently been launched.

The division has been created and designed to reflect and reinforce the increasing shift within Police Scotland to adopt a public health, whole system approach to tackling many of the complex issues faced by a significant proportion of the people our officers and staff come into contact with.

Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing (PPCW) division brings together the specialist teams from the legacy Safer Communities structure, as well as the International Development and Innovation Unit (IDIU) and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU), under the oversight of Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Linda Jones.

The division’s priority focus is on primary prevention and intervention opportunities in situations which can dramatically improve the life chances of the individuals Police Scotland interacts with on a daily basis.

Positive interactions of these sorts can result in individuals being less likely to face adverse experiences which could cause long term trauma and harm, and also result in ongoing involvement with the police and the justice system.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie, who oversees the Partnerships, Preventions and Community Wellbeing portfolio, said:

“The creation of PPCW Division is not just a name change, it’s about a recognised shift in our culture which aligns with the core principles of policing.

“The new division puts early prevention opportunities at the core of what we do, aiming to reduce the likelihood of harm for vulnerable people in our communities from the very outset. This goes hand in hand with positive action to mitigate the factors which we know can cause long-lasting harm.

“Public health principles will be a cornerstone of all we do so as to develop a greater understanding of the public we serve while recognising the complex needs of individuals and communities across the country. Much of the work we currently do – such as substance harm prevention, mental health and children & young people – is already based around these principles

“We will continue to take a whole system approach, working collaboratively and in partnership with organisations which positively contribute to the lives and wellbeing of our communities.”

The incorporation of the International Development and Innovation Unit (IDIU) and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU) within PPCW Division signals Police Scotland’s ambition to be a world leader in improving the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities through knowledge sharing with international partners, while implementing relevant and appropriate best practice, as tried by overseas agencies, into our own practices and policies.

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Information from Police Scotland, published 11 May 2021