Saturday, 31 October 2015

UNISON calls for halt to Police Scotland control centre closures

Date: Saturday 31 October 2015
UNISON Scotland has pledged full support for a resolution at the Scottish Labour conference today (Saturday 31 October) which demands a halt to the continued closures of local Control Room / Service Centres across Scotland. 

The resolution, tabled by Aberdeen Central Labour Party at the conference in Perth, highlights the ongoing crisis in Police Scotland's Control Rooms /Service Centres. We expect the Scottish Government's HMICS report to be published in the near future.

In todays debate, George McIrvine, Secretary of UNISON Police Staff Scotland branch, will call for a halt to the 'strategic direction' of Police Scotland closing local services. At the labour conference George McIrvine will say:

"Police Scotland need to step back from their blinkered centralisation plans of control rooms and service centres closures. They must consider a different path involving those who know the job best, the workforce.

The Police Scotland proposal to the Scottish Police Authority two years ago, proposed a staged approach for closing police control rooms. There was no detail on the rationale other than cost savings. And there is little proof that these changes have provided a better service to the public.

This has resulted in a workforce who are under continued pressure with an increased workload and - as the recent staff survey showed - morale at its lowest ever.

Problems have arisen, and the tragic loss of life in the widely reported M9 incident, led to the Scottish Government call for HMICS to review the changes and allocate another £1.4 million to iron out the problems.

Even with a damning interim report by HMICS, Police Scotland and the Authority are continuing with the imminent closure of service centres in Dundee and Aberdeen as well as the Control Room in Aberdeen and Inverness. UNISON Police Staff Scotland continues to oppose this direction. We welcome the debate today and that we are not alone in our opposition to the plan to close and centralise services."

UNISON fully supports the call for Scottish Labour to commit to develop and sustain an effective local network of emergency control room services across Scotland and in the community's in which they should serve. In the meantime UNISON will continue to support all its members who are subect to these changes.


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