Convener hits at job losses

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The announcement last week by the new Chief Constable of Scotland that we can expect up to lose 3,000 police staff jobs throughout Scotland, has prompted a comment from Councillor Ron McKail, Convener of the Grampian Joint Police Board.

Cllr McKail said: “The Chief Constable’s statement about cutting 3000 police staff jobs throughout Scotland will have an adverse affect on front line policing.

“In Grampian it is the backroom staff who undertake a range of jobs ranging from administration to forensic which lessens the workload of operational police officers allowing them to get on with their role of keeping North East communities safe.

“This allows them to have higher street visibility and allows for our local community policing model to continue.

“The North East is renowned as the safest area in Scotland to live and to work where crime rates and road casualties are reducing year on year and with detection rates continuing to rise we have had the benefit of `good policing`.

“The contribution of police staff in achieving this success cannot be underestimated.

“The problem the new Chief Constable of Scotland faces with Grampian police staff is that they have been offered opportunities for voluntary redundancy. Those staff who wanted to go have gone.

“Expecting hundreds of Grampian police staff to accept voluntary redundancy packages seems unlikely and we should bear in mind that Justice Minister Mr Kenny MacAskill has stated there will be no compulsory redundancies for police staff.

“This was a decision which members of the Grampian Joint Police Board agreed with and accepted.

“Take out hundreds of police staff and the infrastructure to support the front line police officer will not exist.”