POLICE SCOTLAND ARE failing to maintain local relationships – and ‘struggles’ to deal with current threats far less future ones.
That is the conclusion being reached by regional MSP Douglas Ross, who is also the Conservative justice spokesman at the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting after reviewing the Scottish Government’s consultation on police priorities, Mr Ross points to the many concerns over the state of the single force – and believes these are echoed in Moray where he is also a member of the local police scrutiny committee.
Meanwhile the Scottish Police Federation have also listed a range of concerns – most of these linked to Scottish Government funding of the force.
Federation general secretary Calum Steele said: “No matter what way the government chooses to dress it up, the dire capital funding settlement for the police service means that the service struggles to deal with existing threats and challenges, let alone be in a position to adequately respond to new ones.”
He also states Police Scotland doesn’t have enough money to run an effective IT system, adding: “The capital settlement is simply woefully inadequate to allow the police to innovate to enable the PSoS to be resilient flexible, responsive and efficient.
“The trickle of money for IT makes it inevitable the service will only be able to afford to invest in yesterday’s technology for delivery tomorrow.”
Mr Ross, who is the shadow justice secretary, said: “These are very severe warnings that cover a range of areas where Police Scotland is struggling.
“I have always been sceptical about the national force from my days representing Moray on the former Grampian Police Board however I wanted it to succeed for our communities. This report shows the problems predicted at the inception of Police Scotland have been realised and show no signs of improving.
“It is losing traction on the ground and failing to keep up with the world of technology. This falls completely at the SNP’s door, which created the single force and has overseen its first few years.
“Ministers said local policing wouldn’t be hampered, but I hear stories across Moray from local people and police officers and staff that the Police Scotland model does not deliver the same level of service that we had in the past. This message is replicated across the country and I hear concerns about local policing everywhere I go.
“What’s more, the fears set out by the Scottish Police Federation are nothing short of alarming. The Scottish Government has to take heed of this, and make sure the police can deal not only with current challenges, but future ones too.
“Communities in Moray expect no less. They value and respect the work done on the ground by our local officers but their patience is wearing thin as more and more problems emerge from the nation police force.”
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