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Police Scotland has announced a £325,000 fund to be spent in communities by local commanders.

The newly instigated Local Partnership and Initiative Fund is to be spent on community empowerment, inclusion and collaborative working. 

It follows a commitment by Chief Constable Iain Livingstone (pictured) to provide divisional commanders with discretionary funds and falls under the wider Local Policing Programme. 

Deputy Chief Constable for Local Policing, Will Kerr said: “Local commanders and officers know their communities and partners, whether they are in local authorities, health, social work, the third or private sectors, best. 

“Our Local Policing Programme will ensure that policing in Scotland is delivered with a focus on communities and reflects the different needs of urban, rural, island and remote community access across Scotland. 

“This is an important recognition of Divisional Commanders’ autonomy to support activities and initiatives which they identify as able to improve the safety and wellbeing of their community.” 

Mr Kerr added: “In line with our commitment to financial rigour and accountability, Divisions are to maintain a record of their use of the fund and report to the Local Policing Programme on a monthly basis.”

A pragmatic approach has been used to share the fund via the provision of a baseline of £15,000 per division, with a proportional split of the remaining monies based on officer distribution, demand and deprivation as reported in the 2016 Scottish Index of Multi-Deprivation (SIMD). 

Local Police Commander for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, Chief Superintendent Alan Murray said: “Local Policing is at the heart of Police Scotland and my officers and staff are committed to providing the best service possible to those who live and visit the Renfrewshire and Inverclyde area. 

“I welcome The Local Partnership and Initiative Fund which will allow us to continue and also develop new opportunities with our partners which in turn will benefit the safety and wellbeing of the people who live in the Renfrewshire and Inverclyde communities.”