Date: Wednesday 2 October 2013
UNISON Scotland, the union representing staff in the Scottish Police service condemned attack on frontline services proposed in the force’s Public Counter and Traffic Warden Review.
The union pointed out that although the creation of a single Scottish police force had been justified by efficiencies through the reduction of duplicated posts, the frontline services which it is proposed to remove are not duplication but an erosion of established local links with the community. The biggest impact will fall on rural areas which will see both the largest withdrawal of services and job losses in the local economy.
Seizing upon remarks by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill that the station closures will ensure more officers are out on the beat the union emphasised that this can only be the case if Police officers are currently backfilling jobs previously done by non uniform staff. A claim repeatedly denied by the Scottish Government.
The union also condemned the public release of the proposals on the same day that consultation with staff about the reviews was due to begin.
UNISON Scotland Police Branch secretary George McIrvine said:
“Cutting services and links with communities is no way to fight crime. This isn’t standardising services – it’s cutting them.”
“When Police Scotland was set up everyone was told savings would come from eliminating duplication. The frontline services these reviews attack are not duplication and removing them will mean an erosion of established links with local communities and a visible police presence.”
“The public announcement of these proposals on the day that consultation with staff was due to begin shows Police Scotland have a disgraceful lack of respect for their own workforce. It’s a poor show that a police force seem prepared to trample over staff’s legal right staff to meaningful consultation and bodes ill for future reviews”
“Kenny Macaskill’s comments that these closures will put police officers out on the beat shows that he acknowledges the truth of our statements that police officers have been backfilling jobs better done by non uniform staff – perhaps he’d like to look back at our other statements and join us working to prevent these attacks on frontline services.”
For further information contact:
George McIrvine , Branch Secretary UNISON Scotland Police Staff Branch 0141 353 3625/ 0784 254 2677.