31 May 2016
Highlands & Islands (Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant who last month again raised her continued concerns about the Police Control Room closures, after she learned that the procurement process for the new Police IT system had been withdrawn, has written once more to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, asking for certain reassurances.
"I have continually called for a halt to be called to the closure of our North Control Rooms until such a time as everyone is as reasonable reassured as they can be, that a more efficient and effective system is being introduced which places the safety of the public at the top of the list.
“Until then we have to stop this cost cutting measure which in effect puts lives at risk. Indeed, I have continually suggested that our current set up for the North Control Rooms reassures the public of their efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with Police related incidents and also protects jobs.
"The HMIC review of the Police Control Rooms, following high profile tragedies, detailed many elements that required attention.
“It was agreed that the centralisation programme for Control Rooms would not take effect until all issues highlighted in this review were dealt with.
“The Government and Police Scotland tell us repeatedly that the service that will be provided by moving all Control Rooms to the central belt will not diminish service, efficiency or effectiveness.
" I want the Cabinet Secretary and the Government to now come out and say that they are 100% satisfied that the service being provided to the Highlands and Islands by Police Scotland in relation to the new centrally based Police Control Rooms will not be diminished or negatively affected by the closure the North Control Rooms.
"If they are all so confident, then this statement should be a simple one to make."