A planned closure of a police control room could result in deaths

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THE planned closure of a police control room could result in deaths, according to an internal report.

Police Scotland want to close their control room in Glenrothes, Fife, but keep the team monitoring CCTV cameras.

Information from the camera team will have to be phoned to Edinburgh – introducing potentially fatal delays.

The CCTV team at Glenrothes was responsible for police detaining 800 suspected offenders
The CCTV team at Glenrothes was responsible for police detaining 800 suspected offenders

 

Police Scotland CCTV chief Mark Waterfall  warns in a report: “If only telephony is available for CCTV operators to report incidents, it will inevitably lead to delays in passing information to the regional control room.

“This could lead to the possibility of someone receiving a serious injury or ultimately loss of life.”

The report concludes “public safety would be compromised,” “officer safety would be compromised” and “major incident management capacity would be lost.”

Mr Waterfall continues: “Crucial evidence would be lost, impacting on evidence provided to Fife division, partners and the procurator fiscal.”

In 2008 the CCTV team at Glenrothes was responsible for police detaining 800 suspected offenders in Fife and capturing 1600 incident on film.

Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman Graeme Pearson, a former head of Scotland’s anti-organised crime unit, said: “When senior Police Scotland staff argue that the cuts will directly impact public and police safety, then it is only right that he is listened to.

“It isn’t good enough for the SNP to dismiss this as soleley a matter for senior police officers.

“The SNP need to understand the consequences of their cuts.”

The report, which is understood to have been leaked to MSPs, will make uncomfortable reading for Police Scotland.

But Chief Superintendent Val Thomson, head of Police Scotland’s command and control rooms, said the closure would “improve the services our communities receive.”

She said: “There are no plans to change the CCTV service provided by Glenrothes. The issues highlighted will all be addressed prior to implementation of the new model, which will lead to an improved service to the public.

“Changes to contact, command and control in Police Scotland are proposed to take place in stages over two years and carefully managed to ensure continued service to the public in this critical area, with full engagement, with staff, management and unions.”

A consultation into the closures is ongoing.

The report comes as car park staff at St John’s hospital, West lothian, are being given personal CCTV cameras in a bid to tackle violence against them.

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