THE first year of the new Police Scotland single force was obviously going to be a challenge for officers, civilian staff and management.

The crime figures we report today and have highlighted in recent months, however, show that in terms of reducing crime and making streets safer the last year has been a success.

Yes, there have been significant changes, with many civilian staff leaving the force and a new governance structure to be implemented.

However, looking at the overall aims of policing which is to prevent, deter, detect and solve crime, the reduction, especially in serious violent crime, show a city where the tactic of high visibility policing is having an impact.

The levels of crime in Glasgow are still too high and the police are first to recognise that and devise intervention strategies to work towards even greater reductions with preventative measures, particularly in youth crime.

Last year was historic in terms of policing as the old Strathclyde Police force disappeared after almost 40 years.

But the fact that the public did not notice any great difference and that the city witnessed fewer crimes and a higher detection rate means we can look forward with greater confidence.