Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has responded to a report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland (HMICS) into police call handling. Mr Rennie said:
“The Inspector has uncovered appalling failures including insufficient staff, inadequate oversight, low staff morale and calls being recorded on scribble pads. Police chiefs lost sight of what is important."
“It took the tragic deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill on the side of the M9 before this report was ordered by the Scottish Government.
“This is a defining moment for the SNPs centralisation agenda. Their handling of Police Scotland has been casual and cavalier, undermining the excellent work of police officers and civilian staff.
“When I raised control room closures the First Minister accused me of ‘spreading gloom, doom and despondency’.
“And when the Justice Secretary finally ordered this report he told us it was only to confirm that everything was operating well.
“The Scottish Government should have listened to warnings earlier.
“We can’t allow things to carry on with denial and bluster from government ministers. They have got it so wrong on so many things.
“We need to know what else is going on behind closed doors.
“The case for a wider inquiry into the operations of Police Scotland is now overwhelming.”