Control room cuts plan to save money

Police control rooms under threat
Police control rooms under threat

Cost-cutting proposals to axe the police control room that covers Falkirk have come 
under fire.

Police Scotland wants to reduce the number of centres it has answering 999 and non-emergency 101 calls.

The Stirling control room is one of five under threat and is earmarked for closure in December.

Currently 19 support staff and 25 police officers are employed there. The force has said there will be no compulsory redundancies.

The plan to shut Stirling, along with Aberdeen, Dumfries, Glenrothes and Pitt Street in Glasgow, will be discussed by the Scottish Police Authority today (Thursday).

However, critics of the 
recommendation believe it is a “done deal”.

Councillor Jim Blackwood, who was convener of the former Central Scotland Joint Police Board, said the proposal was “a big disappointment”.

He said: “Although they say there will be no redundancies, it will be jobs lost to the local area as well as a loss of local knowledge to the force with centralisation.”

Although he praised Forth Valley commander, Chief Superintendent Davie Flynn, and Chief Inspector Alan Waddell, who looks after Falkirk area, Mr Blackwood said with a single Scottish force there had been a loss of accountability.

He added: “While I can contact them and they are happy to provide information, it is not done in a public forum.

“Although there is talk of consultation, I don’t see the SPA knocking it back. We’re losing support staff in droves though perhaps not in this area. But I can see the day when police officers will have to fill these roles and not be out on the street.”

Chief Superintendent Val Thomson said: “This will allow us to put the individual at the centre of our service and quickly identify vulnerability, enabling us to provide a quicker, more appropriate response.

“We propose that restructuring takes place in stages over the next two years. Consultation with staff will take place before each stage.”