Grampian Police

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Grampian Police
MottoSemper Vigilo
Agency overview
Formed1975 (merger)
Superseding agencyPolice Service of Scotland
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionAberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, UK
Map of Grampian Police's jurisdiction
Size8,737 km2
Population525,936 (2001 census)
Operational structure
Sworn membersAs of 2008/2009:
  • 1,543 Police Officers
  • 181 Special Constables
  • 851 Support Staff[1]
  • 18 Cadets[2]
Agency executive
  • Colin McKerracher, Chief constable
  • Aberdeen City

Grampian Police was, between 1975 and 2013 (replaced by Police Scotland), the territorial police force of the northeast region of Scotland, covering, from 1996, the council areas of Aberdeenshire, the Aberdeen City, and Moray (the former Grampian region). The Force area also covered some of the North Sea, giving Grampian Police the responsibility of policing the oil and gas platforms of the North East. The force was headquartered in Aberdeen.

The Police Authority had six representatives from Aberdeen City, six from Aberdeenshire, and four from Moray.

The force produced a quarterly magazine called The Informer for its staff, and, in 2009, launched a YouTube channel.


Grampian Police was formed on 16 May 1975, when Grampian Region was created, a merger of the previously formed Scottish North Eastern Counties Constabulary and the Aberdeen City Police. The North Eastern force had been formed on 16 May 1949, by the merger of Aberdeenshire Constabulary, Banffshire Constabulary, Kincardineshire Constabulary, and Moray and Nairn Constabulary.[3] The headquarters were situated in a newly constructed building on Queen Street in Aberdeen.[4]

An Act of the Scottish Parliament, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, created a single Police Service of Scotland - known as Police Scotland - with effect from 1 April 2013.[5] This merged the eight regional police forces in Scotland (including Grampian Police), together with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, into a single service covering the whole of Scotland.[6] Police Scotland has its headquarters at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan in Fife.

The former Aberdeen headquarters has remained in use, however, in October 2020 Police Scotland announced that the building would be vacated the following year. Staff will move to other offices in Aberdeen and the area is set to be redeveloped.[4][7] The public counter for the police will move to Marischal College.[8]

Areas covered[edit]

Grampian Police covered the local authority areas of Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray. In addition to this, Grampian have a lead role in incidents on offshore installations in Scottish areas of the North Sea, irrespective of which police area the installation is situated. This arrangement exists due to Grampian's extensive experience in dealing with the offshore industry.[citation needed]

The railway stations and lines in the area are the responsibility of the British Transport Police, and a number of Ministry of Defence installations in the region are policed by the Ministry of Defence Police. However, as with all territorial police forces, the chief officer of Grampian Police is ultimately responsible in statute for all law and order in Grampian police area, irrespective as to whether a special police force is present.

Departments and units[edit]

Grampian Police Headquarters at Queen Street in Aberdeen

Grampian Police had a number of specialist departments and units, with officers joining them and undertaking this as their primary role. Amongst others, these included:

  • Grampian Police Mountain Rescue Team
  • Dog Section
  • Underwater Search Unit (Grampian's Underwater Search Unit is the regional USU for Grampian, Northern Constabulary, and Tayside Police. However, it is staffed entirely by Grampian.)
  • Armed Response Vehicles
  • Oil and Energy Liaison Unit
  • Criminal Investigation Department
  • Wildlife Crime Unit
  • Roads Policing Department (formerly the Traffic Department)
  • Special Branch
  • Financial Investigation Unit
  • Family Protection Unit
  • Education Liaison
  • Professional Standards and Conduct Department
  • Human Resources (Recruitment & Training)
  • General Enquiries Department
  • Major Investigation Teams

Pipe band[edit]

The Grampian Police Pipe Band, established in 1907, often played at events and competitions throughout Scotland. The group rehearses on a weekly basis in Aberdeen and comprises both police staff and civilians. The band launched its own design of tartan in 2007 and performed for Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral Castle to celebrate its unveiling.[9]

Grampian Racist Incident Partnership[edit]

Grampian Racist Incident Partnership (GRIP) is a coalition of race equality groups led by Grampian Police officers. It was formed in May 2008 in response to a series of highly publicised racist assaults against Pakistani migrants and English travellers in Aberdeen.

In 2008 Grampian Police took part in the first GRIP campaign, designed to increase awareness in the bars and pubs of Aberdeen with an eye towards to protecting patrons from racist assaults.[10] In 2010 it launched a campaign in conjunction with GRIP called 'RACISM – Report it Now!' The campaign involved putting up posters and stickers in shops, bars, restaurants, and post offices throughout the region urging people to report racist incidents.[11]

GRIP had mixed results in its first two years. While the number of racist assaults against Pakistanis has been declining, there was a dramatic spike in 2009 in the number of assaults against people classified as "Other White" and "White British". Lewis Macdonald, the Labour member for Aberdeen Central, said the spike shows that "police are getting much better at recording a racial incident." Robert Brown, the Liberal Democrat member for Glasgow, said the spike was "truly shocking."[12]

Significant events and incidents[edit]

Grampian Police were involved in many high-profile cases throughout Scotland, either as the investigating force, reviewing investigations on behalf of other forces, or providing specialist support.

Chief Constables[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ HMICS Statistics – Total number of staff employed by Scottish police forces, Scottish Government. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  2. ^ HMICS Statistics – Total number of support staff employed by Scottish police forces, Scottish Government. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  3. ^ "SNECC [Scottish North Eastern Counties Constabularies]". Grampian Police. Archived from the original on 8 October 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Approval given to dispose of Queen Street Police Station Aberdeen". Police Scotland. October 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  5. ^ STV News Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 30 October 2012
  6. ^ "Police and fire service merger 'would save £1.7bn'". 17 January 2012. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Work to start next year on transformational project". Aberdeen City Council. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  8. ^ Munro, Craig (19 May 2021). "Aberdeen police to move public counter to Marischal College ahead of Queen Street demolition". Evening Express. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Grampian Police Pipe Band". STV. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Force Quarterly Performance Report, Quarter 1 – 2008/2009" (PDF). Grampian Joint Police Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  11. ^ "RACISM – Report it Now! poster & sticker campaign". GREC Graphics. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  12. ^ Leask, David (28 April 2010). "Aberdeen 'is worst city for racism'". The Scotsman. p. 15. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Beach head police find body parts". BBC News. 5 April 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2011.