Highland Councillor and Prospective Scottish Parliament Candidate, Carolyn Caddick is calling on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to halt the closure of Highland Police Control Centre.
The Inverness based emergency control room is due to close this December, as part of the Scottish Government’s police centralisation programme.
Following the tragic events around the M9 crash, and the failure of police to respond, HMICS (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland) have launched a review into the impact of the control room restructuring.
Cllr Caddick said: “People from the Highlands have been raising their concerns over the impact of control room closures for months.
“Our local control room staff are experts in directing the services to remote locations often with Gaelic or local names which do not appear on maps. There is no doubt that the SNP’s one-size-fits-all approach, dragging all decision making to the central belt, will have a damaging impact on our Highlands services and jobs.
“Since the control room closures began we have seen increasing reports of high workload pressures and stress in control room workers. Shortages of police support staff have forced police officers to backfill and cover call centre shifts and people have faced extended waits to have their calls answered.
“It is essential that Inspectorate takes a proper look at the implications of the restructuring and what it means for our communities and local staff. I would encourage everyone to complete the online consultation on HMICS’ website.”
· The Highland Liberal Democrats have be campaigning against control room closures since they were first proposed in 2012, and fought to stop the centralisation of police services by the SNP government.
· Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) is undertaking a review of police call handling across Scotland and is conducting an online questionnaire to allow members of the public, police officers and police staff, elected representatives and other interested parties to inform their review.
· Available at: http://hmics.org/
· The online questionnaire should take about 15 minutes to complete and the deadline for responses is 23 August 2015