101 and 999 calls will go to central belt

Police call centres in Inverness and Aberdeen will cease operation by October, Police Scotland has announced.

All 101 and 999 calls in the Inverness area will be diverted to Scotland’s central belt by late August and the deployment of officers and resources will be handled in Dundee.

Contact, command and control (C3) functions in Aberdeen will switch to the central belt and Dundee by late August.

Police Scotland has created a new National Virtual Service Centre - which spans Govan in Glasgow, Bilston Glen in Edinburgh and Motherwell - and a new area control room in Dundee.

Commenting on the announcement Highlands & Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant who has been actively involved in trying to keep the Inverness Control Room and Call Centre open said: “ As we all expected, this decision was a fait accompli.

“Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary recommended keeping the centres open until their was independent assurance over the call handling procedure, after a series of tragic events led to an exposure of critical shortfalls in Police call handling. However, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Police Scotland have decided that the planned closures should go ahead.”

“Despite the fact that the highlighted critical shortfalls cost lives by this Government’s centralising agenda, they are not going to change course and are pulling all such resources down to the central belt and as a consequence they are happy to see much sought after jobs in our rural and scattered communities in the North go.

“I fail to see how this information will re-assure those residents in the Highlands, Islands or Moray and I would hope that the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) would step in and halt these closures.”