John is member of the Parliament’s Police Sub Committee and on the 3rd of December the Committee took evidence on call handling from Derek Penman, HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland.
In November 2015, HMICS published the Independent Assurance Review Police Scotland – Call Handling Final Report , aka ‘the Review’.
The Review was directed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice following the tragic incident involving the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell. The purpose of our enquiries was not the specifics of this tragic case, which are in any case is ‘sub judice’, rather it was to understand the challenges around having a variety of differing IT systems cope with the important role of dealing with calls from the public.
Many will recall that Mr Penman’s interim report called for the Inverness and Aberdeen Control Rooms to be kept open pending further investigations. I suggested that what we knew already justified the retention of those control rooms and that remains my position.
Press coverage today builds on issue raised yesterday, a suggestion that Police Scotland are moving with undue haste to with suggestions ‘staff are being invited to redundancy interviews’.
In order to clarify this matter, I have written to Assistant Chief Constable Val Thomson asking I be provided with “with comprehensive details about where Police Scotland stands on the issue of Control Room closures.”
An update will be provided when a reply is received.