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Police Scotland reveals proposals to teach officers Gaelic language

The force unveiled its draft Gaelic Language Plan at the Royal National Mod in Oban on Thursday.

Gaelic-branded Police Scotland car with Chief Inspector Gordon Campbell (Gaelic speaker), Supt Gordon Macleod and Ian Ross (SPA Board Member). Uploaded with permission from Police Scotland on October 15 2015.
Police Scotland

Officers could be encouraged to learn Gaelic under new plans from Police Scotland.

The force unveiled its draft Gaelic Language Plan at the Royal National Mod in Oban on Thursday.

It includes proposals to help more staff learn to speak the language, encourage the recruitment of Gaelic-speakers and to brand uniforms and vehicles with Gaelic logos.

Any re-branding would be carried out on a rolling basis to reduce costs.

Police Scotland chief superintendent Julian Innes, local policing commander for the Highland and Islands, said: “As a public body Police Scotland has a legal obligation to develop a Gaelic Language Plan and we will do that in consultation with the communities we serve and organisations which work with us.

“The consultation is open and accessible to anyone and I’d encourage those who would like a chance to contribute to do so by making contact with their views.”

More than 87,000 people in Scotland have some ability to understand Gaelic and nearly half of them live in the Highlands, Western Isles and Glasgow.

Newly-published census figures show 618 more people under the age of 18 spoke the language in 2011 than in 2001.

But despite the increase among young people, the total number of Gaelic speakers fell by 966 over the decade.

Joe Moore, Bòrd na Gàidhlig interim chief executive, added: “Gaelic language plans have proven to be successful in supporting Gaelic by mainstreaming the language in to the everyday operations of public bodies while offering those with Gaelic the opportunities to use the language.

“We are pleased to see Police Scotland and the SPA launch their draft plans for public consultation and look forward to working with them throughout this process.”

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