Forth Valley CID chief defends Police Scotland set-up

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Detective Inspector Johnny Dreczkowski defended the under-pressure Police Scotland set-up saying it has benefitted the Forth Valley Division.

Police Scotland became a national force two years ago but faced criticism of its operating procedure after officers failed to respond to the M9 crash which killed Falkirk couple John Yuill and his partner Lamara Bell in July.

Det Insp Dreczkowski said: “During Operation Core we’ve been able to tap into the national capacity which is one of the real pluses of Police Scotland for us.

“Before we would have the finite number of the Forth Valley Division but when we want to put something in place that really puts the message out, we had 50-odd extra officers from throughout the country coming here to assist us to really send out that message and really nail down a strong enforcement strategy.

“For me, it’s the ‘big team’ mentality. No longer are we a small, localised force, we are a big team under Police Scotland and the beauty of that is that we can tap into a big subs bench, if you like, for extra resources.”

Det Insp Dreczkowski also said the days of police addressing social problems on their own are over. He added: “It’s up to us to take the lead where there is criminality, but we now draw together the expertise and knowledge and support of our partners like health boards and councils.

“We will respond to the violence you see in town centres. People who have taken the likes of cocaine perhaps have that emboldened state of mind or confidence, plus alcohol. People can end up in dangerous situations they wouldn’t normally.

“There’s partner agencies around us to reduce the threat, risk and the harm like the NHS and councils so we now have a collective solution to some of these long-standing issues in some of the more deprived areas of the division.”