POLICE call centre problems must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the new chief constable, according to North-east MSPs.
Police Scotland chief constable Phil Gormley has been sworn in to his new role, following the resignation of Sir Stephen House.
North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald, Labour, called on the new chief to reverse his predecessor’s plans to close the 999 control room in Aberdeen and the 101 service centre in Bucksburn.
He said: “In particular, I hope Mr Gormley will look again at the plans to close police control rooms in Aberdeen, and I have asked him to meet me to discuss this once he has settled in to his new post.
“This is a chance for a fresh start for Police Scotland.
“Rejecting the unpopular and unwise existing plans to close Aberdeen’s police control room would be a very good way for Mr Gormley to begin his career in Scotland.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes MSP also warned the planned closure of Aberdeen’s control rooms should be reviewed.
Ms McInnes said, despite assurances police call handling would be more resilient in the wake of the tragic M9 crash, IT systems in two separate call centres at Bilston Glen and Dundee failed late last year.
Ms McInnes said: “Call centres are being pushed beyond what is safe, morale is at rock bottom, black holes are appearing in finances… the list goes on.
“I have sought an early meeting with him to discuss how he plans to ensure officers and staff get the support they need to do their jobs well and enjoy them but the Scottish Police Authority and Scottish Government must also ensure they provide the resources required.”
Assistant Chief Constable Val Thomson said: “Police Scotland remains committed to both the strategic direction of C3 and the implementation of the 30 HMICS recommendations.”