Police Officers in Highland Perthshire will now take part in an officer verification process to prove their identity to members of the public as part of a nationwide scheme.
The newly introduced verification checks come following the murder of Sarah Everard and will see officers using their personal radio on loudspeaker for a colleague in a Police Scotland Control Room to confirm the identity of the officer and confirm they are on duty.
Police Scotland officers normally work in a pair however on the rare occasion when a lone police officer encounters an incident, the officer will call 999 , allowing a member of the public to speak to the control room on the phone and uniformed officers will be dispatched as soon as possible to the scene.
Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said:
“Our officers work, on a daily basis and across every community in Scotland, with absolute professionalism to protect the vulnerable and keep people safe in line with our core values of integrity, fairness and respect and a commitment to upholding human rights. Public confidence and consent is critical to our legitimacy, and our ability to keep our communities and citizens safe.
“The appalling circumstances of Sarah Everard’s murder have deeply affected people and many are now understandably concerned about verifying an officer’s identity.
“Police Officers will, of course, continue to approach any member of the public who appears distressed or vulnerable, to offer support and assistance.
“However, although it is rare for a lone police officer to have to speak to a member of the public in Scotland, we absolutely recognise our responsibility to introduce an additional means of verification to provide further reassurance to anyone, in particular women who may feel vulnerable, and who might be concerned if they find themselves in this situation.
“The onus is on us, as a police service, to proactively offer this additional verification process to any member of the public who appears distressed, vulnerable or frightened. Police officers always carry photographic identification and will be happy to provide further reassurance about who they are and their reason for speaking with someone if requested.”
The changes came into effect as of October 2nd 2021 and further information can be found at : https://www.scotland.police.uk