Future of police call centre covering Moray should be assured now

Call centre closures should be halted now
Call centre closures should be halted now

POLICE EMERGENCY CALL centre closure plans for Aberdeen, which serves emergency calls made from Moray, should be suspended.

That was the view being expressed at the weekend by Scottish Labour who highlighted rising concerns for public safety.

The call came as Police Scotland chief Sir Stephen House announced that he would quit his post in three months.

Sir Stephen has been under constant pressure over delays in responses to emergency calls – with claims emerging of inadequate staffing and training and a lack of local knowledge at the centralised call centre for 101 and 999 calls.

Police Scotland plans to close the Aberdeen centre entirely, while the Inverness call centre will also close with its call handling functions being transferred to Dundee. A full independent review of all call centre handling processes is currently under way by the Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, who have confirmed that will include the current facilities in Aberdeen and Inverness.

On Sunday the Scottish Labour’s Justice Spokesman Graeme Pearson, a former senior police officer, said: “The most important job of our police service is to keep communities safe.

“People need to know when they call the police they can get a quick response – our police officers are doing their best under difficult circumstances. Closing call centres in Aberdeen and Inverness would only make matters worse.

“For the sake of communities across Scotland and already over-worked police officers, the closure of the call centres should be suspended. The report into call handling is due shortly and it will undoubtedly suggest reforms.

“The SNP Government should consider any proposed reforms before going ahead with the plan to close call centres in Aberdeen and Inverness.”