American officers given 'policing masterclass' by Police Scotland

They spent time on patrol around the Greater Glasgow Division.

American officers given ‘policing masterclass’ by Police Scotland  iStock
The group of 15 US officers took in the policing operation for the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.

American police have been welcomed to Scotland for a “masterclass” by Scottish officers.

Among their activities, they spent time on patrol with the Greater Glasgow Division.

It comes after 14 senior Scottish police travelled to Washington DC earlier this year.

The trip is part of a programme aiming to help improve trust and confidence in policing in both Scotland and the US.

They have shared their experiences of policing with one another, as well as ideas for improvement.

As part of their trip to the States, Scottish police officers met with bosses from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department and Baltimore Police.

They also spoke with US Capitol Police about the attack that took place on January 6 last year ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as President.

Last week, 15 American delegates from major police departments in the US, including New York, Los Angeles and Tucson made a reciprocal to Scotland.

They heard about Police Scotland reform, as well as touring the Scottish Parliament.

And they also made visits to sites across the Police Scotland estate including its HQ at Tulliallan, as well as spending time on patrol around the Greater Glasgow Division.

Their trip to Scotland concluded with the group observing the policing operator in and around Hampden Stadium for the Scottish Cup Final.

Deputy chief constable Will Kerr outlined the benefits in sharing policing experiences.

“Police Scotland’s statutory mission is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities, and this partnership work enables us to continue to develop how we do this,” said Kerr.

“This sharing of international partnership experiences strengthens our ability to provide the best possible policing, for the public and our own people, as well as through key partners across Scotland.”

Deputy chief David Lazar of San Francisco Police Department said officers had been able to learn from each other.

“The international collaboration on policing between Police Scotland and US agencies has been powerful and extremely impactful for us, personally and professionally.

“We have been able to learn from one another on meaningful topics such as building trust and legitimacy in the communities we serve.

“Our professional engagement with one another allows us to learn best practice in policing, resulting in improved police service at a local level.”

Scotland’s justice secretary Keith Brown also spoke to the masterclass.

“I am continually struck by Police Scotland’s focus on human rights and this is one of the reasons why I feel Police Scotland is one of the most progressive police services in the world,” he said.

“They are a rights-based organisation that puts the values of integrity, fairness and respect at the heart of their work.

“To be able to share these values as part of collaborative sessions such as this will help build trust in policing both within Scotland and beyond and I hope the service will be hosting more of these sessions in the near future.”