Eight forces provide police services in Scotland. Six of these, responsible to joint boards of councils, cover more than one council area – Central Scotland, Lothian & Borders, Grampian, Northern, Strathclyde and Tayside. Two forces, Dumfries & Galloway and Fife, cover the same areas as the councils of the same name.
Several factors affect the way a force performs. It is necessary to be aware of these in order to understand why results may vary. Some factors are outwith the control of a service – for example, the level of deprivation and the mix between urban and rural settlements. Other factors may be specific to a particular service or to the groups of people it serves.
These local factors may mean that a force with a performance which, at first sight, appears to be worse than that of another has, in fact, done better given the circumstances it faces.
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