NORTHERN Contabulary’s Chief Constable George Graham has welcomed the publication of the responses to the Scottish Government consultation on the future of policing in Scotland.
He said: “It is imperative that all Forces, their Boards and other stakeholders, including members of the public, are fully engaged in any proposed change which will affect policing and jobs within their communities and it is pleasing to see so many people and organisations across the Highlands and Islands have contributed to the consultation.
“It is now important that the Scottish Government listens to the views expressed by communities and takes account of these in the decision making process.
“The future of policing must also be reviewed in the context of wider public sector reform, recognising the professional views of ACPOS and important stakeholders and partners such as COSLA, COPFS and Police Boards.”
Regarding the future shape of police forces, the Chief Constable stressed the importance of local accountability and local leadership and said it was important it is retained in communities across Scotland. It was vital, too, to not underestimate the value of the work done by support staff throughout the more rural parts of Scotland.
“Their work is an integral part of supporting front-line services and enables the majority of our officers to be visible in communities, helping to reduce crime and providing a first class policing service,” commented Chief Constable Graham.
“This is a critical time for policing, and I would urge careful consideration of the issues raised before embarking on radical structural reform which would be costly, disruptive and distracting at the current time.”