A report into policing in Ayrshire has revealed that complaints are on the rise against police in the division.
The report was compiled by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and Ayrshire division were the second division to be inspected following the introduction of Police Scotland in April 2013.
The report also found that officer and staff morale has been adversely affected by the pace and nature of change following the creation of Police Scotland whilst increasing layers of bureaucracy are also a concern and internal communication needs to be improved.
Some officers and staff also felt that targets on issues such as ‘stop and search’ had unintended consequences as they had been disproportinately prioritiesed over other areas of valuable police work which was not measured.
However, there was some good news for the division in the report with the policing teams across Ayrshire reporting significant reductions in incidents of anti social behaviour and disorder leading to high levels of public confidence rates in the force which are continually improving.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Derek Penman said: “Ayrshire Division takes ina diverse mix of communities, featuring some of the most affluent and the most deprived areas in Scotland. It has a number of challenges and we have identified areas for improvement.
“The division is not complacent in addressing crime and takes a problem solving method to tackle issues as they arise. They work well with their partners in the three local authority areas and their use of social media and the relationship between their campus cops and the young people from their communities are examples of good practice.
“But we found that opportunities are being missed for wider engagements between local officers and their communities.”