McArthur: Scotland counting the cost of botched police reforms


Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today said that police centralisation has made it more difficult for officers and staff to build links with the communities they serve.

Mr McArthur was speaking as a new survey showed that almost half of people who had contacted police in the last year were dissatisfied with the response they got. Police Scotland’s “Your View Counts” survey also found that more than half of those surveyed were unaware that they had a local policing team.

Commenting, Liam McArthur MSP said:

“Looking at these figures it is hard to escape the conclusion that police centralisation has made it more difficult for officers and staff to build links with the communities they serve. Almost half of those who contacted police in the last year were dissatisfied with the response they got. More than half of people don’t even know they have a local policing team.

“The SNP were warned that centralising the police would make it harder for officers and staff to respond to local needs. They ignored opposition to their plans and forced them through anyway. The public and rank and file have been left counting the cost of the botched reforms.

“The Scottish Government is there to support the police in their work. But changes pushed through by the SNP have systematically undermined the hard work of those on the frontline. We need urgent reforms to ensure that policing reflects local needs and not top down targets and diktats from HQ and ministers.”


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