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Tue 17 January 2012

Cuts to police staff could have damaging effect on law and order - UNISON

A new Bill to create a single Scottish police force could have a damaging effect on law and order if it signals a fresh round of cuts to police staff, UNISON Scotland said today. The union, which organises police support staff across Scotland, identified cuts and funding as major areas of concern following the publication of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill which was published today by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

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

“Any reform of public services should be in the best interests of the people of Scotland. However, as we argued in our response to the consultation on this Bill,  the main motivation for a unitary police body appears to be focussed on saving money.

“There are a number of areas of concern surrounding the Bill which will affect our members – and thus threaten delivery of police services.

“The new Scottish Police Authority will be expected to achieve savings of between £88m and £151m per year.

“Meanwhile, if the Chief Constable of the new force is still under the constraint of maintaining police officer numbers, this will mean the burden of any cuts will be aimed squarely at police staff.

“There is also still a great deal of uncertainty over the VAT liability issue which could see the Scottish Police Authority paying the treasury £22m per year whilst trying to achieve huge savings.”

UNISON Scotland argued in its consultation response that ‘taking trained operational police officers off the streets to perform administrative tasks – at greater cost - is economic madness’.”

ENDS

For further Info please contact Peter Veldon, Regional Organiser - 07904 342 285

Note 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’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

 

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