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Date: 12 March 2012

Justice Secretary meets UNISON as campaign for balanced modern police force launched

UNISON has called on the Justice Secretary to start planning a modern, balanced police team – with the right people doing the right jobs – rather than cutting thousands of vital police staff posts to meet police officer targets and budget savings.

The union’s police staff representatives will meet Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill at the UNISON annual police seminar in Stirling - directly after launching a new campaign to win a balanced modern police for a better, safer Scotland.

UNISON Police Committee chair George McIrvine said:

“Cutting police staff makes no economic or policing sense. It simply means that important support and expert jobs are increasingly done by police officers.

“We know this because it’s already happening. We’ve lost a thousand police staff jobs in the last year or so. And now in the run up to the new single force,  thousands more police staff jobs are under threat because of targets for cost savings and for police officer numbers.  The result could be  to take more than a thousand officers off the streets.

“This would just take us back in time to the bad old days of policing with cops backfilling jobs they are not trained for nor skilled in.

“We need a modern, balanced police team – with the right people doing the right jobs – for a better, safer Scotland.”

ENDS


For further information please contact:
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns Scotland - 07958 122409
Peter Veldon, Regional Organiser - 07904 342 285
Gerry Crawley, Regional Organiser- 07958 121 805

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. The new UNISON campaign for a balanced modern police force is launched at the union's annual police staff seminar in Stirling on Tuesday 13 March with a leaflet and poster on the theme ‘Don’t take policing back to the 1970s’ and a new ‘Police Matters’ bulletin for police staff members. The Cabinet Secretary will speak to the union's police staff representatives directly after the launch of the campaign.

The campaign materials will be available along with recent press releases on the UNISON Scotland website police staff page at: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/police/index.html

3. Other documents giving analysis of the Police reform process and the campaign for police staff jobs  are available on the UNISON Scotland website:

  • UNISON Scotland Evidence to Scottish Parliament Committees on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill published in Feb 2012 is available on our website
  • Evidence to Justice Committee:

http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/Police&FireReform_SPJusticeCtteEvidence_Feb2012.pdf

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