UNISON statement on announcement that Chief Constable Sir Stephen House is to stand down from his post in 3 months time

Date: Thursday 27 August 2015

This announcement is unsurprising. Chief Constable Sir Stephen House was put in an impossible position. The problems which beset Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Board are not down to one individual. They will not be fixed by his departure.

The Scottish government’s arbitary political target of maintaining police officer numbers should be ended, as it is leading to the dismantling of our modern police force with thousands of civilian posts being lost. We need  a fundamental review of the long term funding of our police services in Scotland.

George McIrvine, branch secretary of UNISON Police Staff Scotland, said: “I wish Chief Constable Sir Stephen House all the best in whatever he chooses to do in the future. We disagreed on some decisions he made but the problems with Police Scotland are not down to one person.

“Sir Stephen House was given the impossible task of merging Scottish policing into one police force, while having to meet political targets of 1,000 extra police officers, and at the same time introducing £1.1 billion efficiency savings target. These targets had little to do with good policing.

“Over 1,700 police staff have left their jobs while Police Scotland has been beset with problems. The Scottish Government must now review their manifesto pledge to maintain 1000 extra police officers as it is not working. They must also take a fundamental look at how we properly fund a modern police force in Scotland.

“Sir Stephen House should have publicly called on the Scottish Government to scrap all political targets and called for proper funding of our police service. Maybe now we can have a proper discussion about these issues.”



Danny Phillips UNISON comunications officer 07944 664 110
George McIrvine, Branch Secretary of UNISON’s Police Staff Scotland Branch, 07842 542 677