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News : Campaigners Take Police Call Centre Petition to the Streets of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, Scotland, Dec 14, 2015 -- Campaigners took to the streets of Aberdeen this weekend in a bid to stop the closures of police call centres.
Unison members were joined by local MSP Lewis Macdonald to promote the Press and Journal’s petition to keep the control rooms in both the Granite City and Inverness open.
More than 600 people have already backed the campaign to halt the controversial closures.
Call centres in Aberdeen and Inverness are scheduled to mothballed, although the plans have been postponed following a damning report into call handling in the wake of the M9 tragedy.
Police call procedures were heavily criticised in the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland report, which took place after Lamara Bell and John Yuill were left in their car for three days – despite the crash being reported to police.
Speaking after the event, Mr Macdonald said: "I was delighted to support trade union members so committed to save local jobs and services and collecting support from so many local people out doing their Christmas shopping.
"These services really matter to the public in the north-east and of course the jobs matter to the people doing them as well.
"It was particularly good that this campaign is supported by colleagues from control rooms in Dundee and elsewhere in Scotland, because everyone in the police service knows that if these closures happen they will have knock-on impact on the service right across the country.
"The campaign to save these centres will go on up to the election and beyond, and I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition."
The Press and Journal’s petition has been signed by a wide-range of people, including high-profile politicians, rescue workers, and concerned local residents.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is among those who have backed the campaign, as has Willie Anderson, leader of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.
One concerned Aberdeen resident signing the petition, Susan Hay, said: "It is so important that there is local knowledge because when someone is calling 999 for help they are not going always be familiar with a road number but are more likely to be able to describe what is around about them."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, December 15, 2015