D&G Council Leader Sends Strong Message to Police Scotland

Leader of the Council, Ronnie Nicholson, has sent a strong message to Police Chiefs following the publication of a report into local policing – centralising isn’t working.  The report published today (Tuesday 17 May) highlights the excellent work of our local police officers in Dumfries and Galloway.  Yet, within the report, there are examples highlighting that locally, the centralisation agenda isn’t working.

Findings within the report highlight that the closure of the control room has resulted in challenges to local policing – a problem identified at the outset by the Leader who continually challenged police chiefs to reverse their decision.  Now this inspection confirms that those early concerns were justified.  The findings also highlighted that the centralisation agenda has led to police chiefs overlooking local skills and that the continuous approach to centralisation has affected flexibility to address local issues.  These are all issues for Police Scotland nationally to address.

Leader of the Council, Ronnie Nicholson, said “Keeping our communities safe is one of our Council’s commitments.  This report provides evidence that Dumfries and Galloway is one of the safest places in Scotland to live thanks to the good work of our local police officers.

Two years ago, I spoke out against the closure of our control rooms condemning the decision to remove this vital resource by Police Scotland.  Today’s report shows that this move has created more difficulties for our hard working officers who are having even more to deal with as a result.

Locally, officers are being suffocated by centralisation, reducing their ability to respond to local incidents.  Our officers know the job and their communities best.  Yet, police chiefs are dictating that officers across the country to all respond in the same way, ignoring what might work best for different communities.  The need for local knowledge is so important when dealing with emergencies so I am pleased that this has been highlighted in the report.

In an excellent report, unlike the national picture, the findings highlight the work being done by officers across the region, highlighting examples of brilliant work and in some cases, exemplary within Scotland.  I am pleased that the hard work and dedication of officers in keeping our communities safe has been recognised.

I have already met with the new Chief Constable, Phil Gormley and was encouraged by the positive discussions that took place.  The new Chief Constable has identified that local policing is a priority and has instigated a change in Police Scotland putting people and communities at its heart.”

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