“Thinly spread” officers struggling with legacy of police and fire reform

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today warned that police and fire reform has failed to deliver promised savings or significantly improve services as a damning new report warns of police and fire service staff thinly spread and equipped with ageing and unreliable equipment.

The report Evaluation of Police and Fire Reform: Year 4 - Summary of Key Findings and Learning Points from the Evaluation notes:

  • Police staff warning that they are “thinly spread” due to back-filling of civilian jobs and redeployment of staff.
  • “a strong sense among local officers of diminishing local resources which are increasingly stretched relative to demand”.
  • Fire officers complaining about ageing and unreliable equipment and the length of time it takes for equipment to be repaired.

Mr McArthur said:

“The SNP’s centralisation has failed to significantly improve services or deliver the savings that were promised.

“When the sums didn’t add up, the Scottish Government took an axe to civilian staff positions, forcing more and more officers off the beat to fill the gaps.

“The Scottish Government need to ensure that a long overdue staff survey takes place as soon as possible. This will give us a more accurate picture of the challenges facing hardworking police and fire service workers.”

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