Scotland is due to have a single police force from April, something I have always opposed, and I remain concerned about the impact, especially locally, of this Scottish Government decision. The SNP claim this new police force will be more efficient and there will be overall savings, but I remain unconvinced.
Leaving aside the cost of establishing this new force, with a police service run from Edinburgh this area could lose out from a lack of local accountability and a police service no longer focused on the complex needs of this large rural area.
It will only make the important job the Forces do more difficult. I remain very concerned that we will see officers and other resources sucked out of this area and into the central belt.