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Thu 26 January 2012

Threat to 2000 police staff jobs is criminal - UNISON 

Two thousand police staff jobs are under immediate threat in a budget-cutting move which UNISON describes as “criminally wasteful, poorly thought out and highly provocative”.

Peter Veldon, Regional Organiser for UNISON’s Scottish police staff, said:

“Scotland’s police chiefs propose to meet budget constraints imposed by the Scottish government almost entirely by cutting 2000 support staff – even though a thousand staff posts have already been cut in the last year. They plan an immediate budget cut of £6.5 million in the coming financial year, even before the new Scotland-wide police service begins.”

Dave Watson, UNISON’s Head of Bargaining and Campaigns in Scotland said:

“Cutting 2000 police staff would take policing in Scotland back to the 1970s. It would be like Life on Mars, a cop show set in a timewarp – but in fact, not in fiction.”

“UNISON has consistently warned of the danger of cutting police staff. It makes no economic or policing sense – it simply means that important support and expert jobs are increasingly done by police officers. 

“Police officers are not trained to do these jobs. They are paid much more than the police staff who have the right skills and expertise. And of course police officers should really be out in our streets and communities upholding law and order. 

“On top of a thousand staff jobs already cut in the last year or so, this latest proposal is nothing short of criminally wasteful, poorly thought out and highly provocative.

“Our police staff members provide skilled and expert support services which help in the fight against crime. They should not be targeted for mass redundancy just so the Scottish government can brag about police officer numbers in the streets – when in fact the cops are going to be sitting at desks, just like the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s, in dodgy flares and hairstyles no doubt – being paid twice as much to do jobs they’re not trained or skilled in. 

“Cutting 2000 police staff jobs is dangerous backward-looking nonsense, and not an effective use of either police officers or our dedicated members.”


For further information please contact: 
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns Scotland - 07958 122409

Peter Veldon, Regional Organiser - 07904 342 285

Notes to editors 

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing over 162,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, and represents police staffs in Scotland.

2. UNISON Scotland commissioned Stewart Research to examine the benefits of police staff – the report ‘Civilianisation of Police in Scotland’ published in May 2009 is available on our website: 


3. UNISON Scotland’s document ‘Future of Policing in Scotland - Response to Scottish Government consultation’ published in May 2011 is available on our website:

http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/ Response_%20FutureofPolicinginScotland_May2011.pdf