Single police force consultation slammed by police chiefs

by Gráinne Byrne

Under the new proposals force numbers may be depleted

Senior police officers have hit out at the Scottish Government over its consultation on streamlining the police system in Scotland.

In a letter to Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, Kevin Smith, vice-president of Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), accuses the Government of misleading the public, saying ‘the consultation process would have benefited from a more neutral perspective.’

The government is consulting on the future of policing in Scotland, including a proposed single ‘blue-services’ force. This would merge police, fire and ambulance services. The merge would make an alleged saving of almost £200 million.

Earlier this year, David Strang, chief constable of Lothian and Borders, spoke out saying that he feared that the cuts were “dangerous’’ and would cut police officer numbers “by several thousand”.

The consultation comes to a close on 5 May 2011 and the responsibility of the future of policing will fall into the hands of the incoming government.