John has written to Police Scotland following concerns regarding the reorganisation of police support staff in the former Northern Constabulary area.
The concerns specifically surround the number and role of support staff in Stornoway but John is keen to ensure it’s not replicated elsewhere in Scotland.
“I have been reliably informed that, following the move to a national service, Police Scotland decided the compliment of front desk support staff at Stornoway should be reduced from five to three.
“I am also told that the two unsuccessful applicants for the three posts ‘have nothing to do’ and will be retained on the books until March next year.
“Most worrying is the suggestion that when any of the three post holders is absent neither of the two is permitted to cover their work and a police officer is removed from the street to undertake their duties.
“As a Member of the Parliament’s Police Committee, I was assured that there was no routine practice of filling support staff posts with operational police officers.
“In March 2013 the opening hours at Stornoway changed from 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to 8am to 8pm 7 days a week, changing again in February 2014 7am to midnight, 7 days a week so something doesn’t add up and Police Scotland acknowledges their handling of counter closures and reduced office opening hours could have been better.
“I have written the chief constable to have this matter cleared up. Perhaps it’s a local misunderstanding connected with the twice changed opening hours of the Stornoway station. I sincerely hope this practice isn’t replicated across Scotland.”