Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Concern over police "North Command" proposal

As reported in yesterday's Courier and Evening Telegraph, I have hit out at the Scottish Government proposals to create a “North Command” stretching from Dundee up to Shetland as part of the abolition of Tayside Police and the creation of a single police force across Scotland, calling the proposed North Command area far too large, unwieldy and inappropriate.

I said at the City Council Policy & Resources Committee last year that the Single Police Force proposals were fundamentally flawed and we now see the creation of a North Command area around 300 miles long, including highly urban areas like Dundee and very rural areas like the Highlands and Northern Isles.   Such an unwieldy command area makes no sense.

The SNP’s single police force proposals are unravelling and I predict that in the long term they will cost public money, not save it, as the SNP Government originally claimed.  Tayside Police is an extremely efficient force and it is not too late for the government to think again and retain the existing police boundaries.

I would also point to the recent Audit Scotland report on weaknesses in the public bodies mergers, as this underlines the fact that the underlying assumptions behind the latest mergers involving both the police and fire and rescue services are flawed and will cost more and deliver less in the long term.