News : Perth Councillor Slams Closure of Dundee Police Call Centre
Perth & Kinross, Scotland, Jan 26, 2016 -- A Perth councillor has condemned Police Scotland over plans to close Dundee’s call-handling operation in June as part of controversial reforms.
Convener of scrutiny on Perth and Kinross Council Alexander Stewart has attacked moves to close the facility in Dundee’s Bell Street and relocate it to the central belt.
Dundee will instead host the north’s regional control room, which decides the level of response required for each incident.
Councillor Stewart said: "This facility has served Perth and Kinross well over the years until the creation of Police Scotland – now all 999 and 101 calls will be answered by police staff in the central belt rather than locally.
"This will have serious implications for Perth city and our rural communities."
A Police Scotland spokesman said they "plan to work towards" moving all 999 and non-emergency calls from Dundee to the national centre from late June.
However, Mr Stewart has concerns over the loss of staff with local knowledge.
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He continued: "I sincerely hope we do not have a repeat of the M9 tragedy because of the risk attached to lack of local knowledge and staff training.
"Police Scotland assure us that they remain committed to protecting frontline delivery and therefore the pace of change will be managed but these are just words that the public don’t believe.
"Their recent track record, sadly, does not inspire us with confidence.
"I appreciate that budgets are tight and there needs to be transformation but it should not be at the cost of public safety which should always be the main priority."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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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: Thursday, January 28, 2016
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