Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray and Councillor John Syme have branded Police Scotland’s latest report to Dumfries & Galloway Council Police, Fire and Rescue Sub Committee, in which they defend the decision to close the Dumfries Police Control Room, as “a poor attempt at smoothing things over with local people.”
The closure of the Dumfries Police Control Room at Cornwall Mount last year affected 34 local police staff, only 9 of which have remained employed by Police Scotland.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“Police Scotland are trying to defend the indefensible with this latest report, something which will come as no consolation to the 34 local staff who were affected by the decision to close the Dumfries Police Control Room. What’s so disappointing is that Police Scotland are pandering to the Scottish Government’s view that centralisation is a good thing. Both have previously made commitments to bring civilian jobs to our region, but this report shows that that’s obviously the last thing on their mind.”
Elaine Murray MSP is also encouraging her constituents in Dumfriesshire to get in touch with her to share their experiences when using Police Scotland’s 101 service.
“I want to get a true perspective on the ease of use of the 101 service in our region. I have previously had a number of complaints from local people over lack of local knowledge from operators at the new control room in the central belt. I want to know if this is still happening and would encourage my constituents to get in touch to share their experiences.”
Chair of Dumfries & Galloway Council Police, Fire and Rescue Sub Committee, Councillor John Syme added:
“This is a poor attempt by Police Scotland at smoothing things over with local people in Dumfries & Galloway. In a rural region like ours, people know that local knowledge is vital when dealing with emergency situations. That’s why there is still a large amount of contempt at Police Scotland’s and the Scottish Government’s decision to shut our control room and axe local jobs.”