UNISON condemns chief constable statement that it is ‘inevitable that more police staff face further jobs cuts next year’

Date: Wed 26 November 2014

UNISON, the trade union for police civilian staff, has condemned the statement by the Chief Constable of Police Scotland that more police staff will be made redundant.

George McIrvine, secretary of UNISON police staff Scotland branch said:
“This shows UNISON is right. Civilian police staff are facing big job losses and are the victims of the Scottish Governments policy to maintain police officers while cutting £1.1bn from the police budget.  Both the chief constable and Scottish Justice Secretary are hiding behind the political statement to ‘maintain 17,234 police officers’ to pretend they are meeting the public’s priorities. This means the £1.1bn police cuts will decimate civilian police staff jobs.”

George continued:
“We have built a modern balanced Scottish police force of hard working, high skilled civilians who are value for money and work side by side with our police officers to fight crime. Finger print officers, crime scene investigators, anti-fraud officers, intelligence analysis, forensics, legal clerical, custody officers, community safety officers, call centre staff and many more. These people have local knowledge and high technical skills and have reduced crime to its lowest level ever.  The police service will not survive this outdated political pledge, it is death by 1000 officers.”

Gerry Crawley UNISON police staff organiser said:
“The cuts confirmed today will take policing back to the 1970s, which will mean 1970s levels of crime. Civilian police staff are paying the price of the £1.1bn Scottish Government cuts. Frankly it’s the worst gutter politics. Ministers and senior police protecting their own jobs over hard working civilian police staff who actually fight crime on our streets. Just so they can say to the public we are ‘maintaining 1000 extra police officers’. UNISON will not stand by and see our modern police force decimated like this. The public need to recognise that a £1.1bn cut means losing every civilian post in the police force. Which will mean a rise in crime.  It’s politicians and top police putting their own job security over public safety.”


Notes to Editor

1. Sir Stephen House gave evidence to MSPs yesterday 25 November 2014, along with the new justice secretary, Michael Matheson. Scotland’s top police officer has said force support staff face further job cuts next year. Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said he was confident of making a target to save £1.1bn by 2026.But he warned the path ahead was “not smooth” and said every area, apart from police officer numbers, would be considered in the drive for savings. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30198580

2. UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scotland, and we are the biggest trade union representing police staff

3. Police staff stay in the job longer, specialise and advance in particular areas of work and are better value for public money. A police officer filling in the jobs left by redundant police staff costs the public more and takes an officer off of the street and putting them behind a desk. What’s the sense in that?


  • George McIrvine, UNISON branch sectary: 07842 542 677
  • Gerry Crawley, UNISON organiser for civilian police staff; 07958 121 805
  • Danny Phillips, UNISON communications officer; 07944 664 110