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.

Comments

  1. F J A Gilmour says:

    If policing is to operate with the consent of the policed, then control of the police has to remain a local matter and the Chief Officer of Police to be accountable to and from time to time elected by a local police board and not to some functionary seated in the fastness of Holyrood.
    European history shows all to clearly the consequences of creating single national police forces. Very soon they become nothing more than a tool of government, responsive and responsible only to whichever of their political masters holds power. When a government begins to fear the electorate the temptation to migrate a state police force into a secret state police force could prove irresistable. This government may have honourable intentions but what about the next one – and the next?

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