Police introduce the man who will be in charge

Chief Superintendent David Flynn
Chief Superintendent David Flynn

The man soon to become the district’s top cop has said it will be business as usual when the new national police force comes into being on April 1.

Police Scotland will replace the existing system of eight individual constabularies as part of a Scottish Government plan to streamline the service.

It was announced this week that Chief Superintendent David Flynn has been appointed local police commander for the new Forth Valley Division, which will cover the area currently served by Central Scotland Police.

Appearing before Falkirk Council’s environment and community safety committee on Tuesday, Chief Superintendent Flynn assured council members that the introduction of the national force would not change the way police do their jobs in local communities.

He said: “If the public notice a difference then we’ll have failed in our transition plan.

“There will be no real change to policing in Forth Valley.

“The aim is to make it a completely seamless transition.”

Local commanders will be expected to work closely with communities to reflect their concerns as part of highly-localised policing plans.

These plans will subsequently be submitted to the Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils for approval.

Chief Superitnendent Flynn will be supported in running the Forth Valley Division by Superintendents Gary Lawrie and Graham Bye, who will take charge of operations and service delivery respectively.

Each council area will also be served by a nominated chief inspector, with Alan Waddell fulfilling this role in Falkirk.

Committee convener Dr Craig R Martin noted that not all councillors had originally been in favour of the plan to create a new national force, but added that he was pleased with the speed with which it had been implemented.

He said: “I’m very impressed with the swan-like progress being made, and would like to welcome Chief Superintendent Flynn to his new post.”

But town hall veteran Gerry Goldie sounded a note of caution regarding accountability of the new service.

He said: “I was here under the old system of district and regional councils, and recall that funding always went in the direction of the regions.

“My concern with these plans is who will take charge of the spend, and who will monitor it.

“It’s something that we need to keep an eye on as a local authority to ensure that we get value for money.”

It was agreed that a meeting would be held before April 1 to update all councillors on the progress of implementing the new force.