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Date: Thursday 20 January 2014

UNISON demonstrates against more police cuts

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) will officially confirm the closure of Police Force Control Centres in a ‘restructuring’ across Scotland today (Thursday 30 January 2014).

SPA are to close down 5 control centres over 18-24 months. Dumfries and Galloway in April 2014 will be first to go, with a loss of 34 jobs; then Stirling in December 2014; Glenrothes in March 2015; Pitt Street Glasgow in March 2015; Aberdeen in December 2015.

300 jobs are at risk.

Gerry Crawley, UNISON regional officer said:
"We will keep hammering the point that these closures are not about making our communities safe. They are budget driven cuts. Scottish Government is cutting £139 million from police budgets between now and 2017 and £1 billion over 12 years.

"This decision to close control centres puts 300 police staff jobs at risk. These are hard working and loyal staff that bring crucial skills to keeping communities safe and they have huge amount of local knowledge which will all be lost.

"This is just part of the longer term problem. Scottish Government are hiding behind their line that they will keep police numbers. This means police staff will bear the brunt of these cuts even where this may not be the best way forward.

"Cutting jobs does not mean cutting the workload. The tasks still need to be done. More police officers will be back in the police stations rather than on the beat. It is the most expensive option."

George McIrvine UNISON police staff Scotland branch secretary said:
"If these cuts go through, the public need to understand that when they phone 101 they could be speaking to a central control centre hundreds of miles from where they are. This is on the back of the decision to shut or reducing the hours of about 60 of the 214 local police counters. There already is a lot of anger in local communities.

"We will be holding a small demonstration at the board meeting today.

"Police staff will be coming to Glasgow from as far afield as Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeen to show how angry they are that local people feel less safe and many police families will be in hardship."


Notes to editors

1. Police Board Scotland will make the official decision today to close down 5 control centres over 18-24 months - Dumfries and Galloway in April 2014; Stirling in December 2014; Glenrothes in March 2015; Pitt Street Glasgow in March 2015; Aberdeen in December 2015

2. UNISON Scotland police staff will listen to the debate in the public gallery and they will be holding a small demonstration outside Trades Hall, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow, G1 1UH. UNISON members will be available for interview.

3. Police Scotland have 10 Police Control Centres in Inverness, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen, Glenrothers, Edinburgh, Govan, Motherwell, Glasgow Pitt Street, Dumfries and Galloway.

4. Five centres that will remain open are Dundee, Edinburgh, Motherwell, Inverness and Govan Glasgow.

5. Police control and command centres deal with 999 calls and 101 calls, some like Inverness deal with major incidents.

For further information please contact:
Gerry Crawley, UNISON Scotland regional organiser, 07958 121805
George McIrvine UNISON police staff Scotland branch secretary, 07842 542677
Danny Phillips, UNISON Scotland communications officer, 07944 664110
John Green, UNISON member police staff in Dumfries and Galloway 07545 990853