Date: Thursday 11 June
UNISON welcomes call from Reform Scotland to review 1000 extra police officers policy
UNISON Scotland welcomes the report from Reform Scotland The Thinning Blue Line released today (Thursday 11 June 2015).
This report mirrors much of what UNISON said at the time Police Scotland was being proposed. UNISON agrees with Reform Scotland that we should: give local authorities more say in local policing; reform the Police Scotland board to make police more accountable to local authorities and communities; and review the 1000 additional police officers policy.
The union has always also said that the policy - which means you replace the civilian police staff with police officers - is not cost effective and not the most effective way to fight crime.
Dave Watson from UNISON said:
"The policy to increase 1000 police officers while slashing the police budget by £1bn has been a disaster.
"As this report shows, the crime clear up rates of individual police officers is dropping, in our view this was always going to happen.
"Civilian staff carry out vital roles in our modern police force both specialist and so-called 'back office' roles that you need to run any service.
"And it is these staff who are taking the brunt of the cuts.
"These are the people who work side by side with the police fighting crime.
"And it is no surprise to us that crime clear up rates are going down as often the police have to step in to carry out these tasks which they are not trained to do.
"This is a politically motivated target and is not best value."
Dave Watson continued:
"The added advantage of the model Reform Scotland are proposing for Police Scotland is it will also be exempt from VAT saving £27 million per year of public funds.
"Again this is something we continually pointed out to the Scottish Government since even before they set up of Police Scotland."
Dave Watson, UNISON head of bargaining and campaigns, 07958 122 409
Danny Phillips, UNISON communications officer, 07944 664 110
Notes for Editor
1. UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scotland, the public services union and represents civilian police staff.
2. Civilian police staff roles include, for example, finger print officers, crime scene investigators, anti-fraud officers, intelligence analysis, forensics, legal clerical, custody officers, community safety officers, control room staff and human resources.
3. Reform Scotland executive report can be read here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4xy9l7l05xqx9ub/
4. And more information is available here: http://www.reformscotland.com