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News : Aberdeen Control Room Closure Plan ‘Misleading’, MSP Claims
Aberdeen, Scotland, Jan 15, 2016 -- Plans to close Aberdeen’s control rooms have been misleading, according to a North-east MSP.
Police Scotland has confirmed the Dundee control room, which will take over co-ordination of emergency responses in the north of Scotland, will not take calls from the public.
North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald, Labour, said SNP politicians had not been clear all public calls would go to central belt centres in Bilston Glen, Motherwell and Govan.
He said: "When proposals to close police control rooms first came forward, both the SNP Government and Police Scotland gave the impression that, if the control room in Aberdeen closed, the control room in Dundee would stay open.
"They forgot to mention that it would not take any calls from members of the public.
"The centralisation of police contact, command and control is bad news right across the north and North-east and the SNP appear content to do without local knowledge entirely."
The SNP declined to comment.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The programme for the restructuring of the command and control centres is being led by Police Scotland who have stated that remaining phases of the reform programme will only proceed once the Scottish Police Authority and HMICS are completely reassured that all staff, systems, procedures and processes are in place.
"In September, we announced an additional £1.4m to ensure control room staff levels are stabilised."
Chief Superintendent Alan Speirs from Police Scotland confirmed all calls from the public would go to the central belt.
He said: "It has been clear from the beginning that the plans for contact, command and control services within Police Scotland did not include a call answering service within Dundee.
"All call handling will be undertaken within the National Service Centre.
"As previously highlighted the command and control of incidents and police resources will be the priority of the regional control rooms."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Police Scotland
About Police Scotland:
The Police Service of Scotland is the primary police service of Scotland. It was formed in 2013 with the merger of all eight territorial police forces in Scotland and the specialist services of the Scottish Police Services Authority, including the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Although not formally absorbing it, the merger also resulted in the winding down of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Published: Monday, January 18, 2016