Local MP David Mundell is backing calls for a root and branch review of Police Scotland's failed centralised structure in the wake of Sir Stephen House’s resignation.
Recent events, including the M9 tragedy, have added to concerns that centralisation has damaged the effectiveness of the service. Before a new Chief Constable can be appointed, the Scottish Conservatives are calling for a thorough review of the arrangements and how local accountability can be restored.
Currently, a single police force has led to the loss of community policing, closures of local stations to the public, centralisation, more stop and searches and routinely armed police officers on the streets.
Mr Mundell said – “local justice should be delivered and administered locally. I was against the creation of a single national police force, because of the effect that it would have on policing in rural areas and on our local communities. I always questioned how Police Scotland could make the kinds of savings that were being talked about without making significant cut backs in local services, and now sadly we've seen the answer.
“Hundreds of local residents signed up at the time to my petition against the closure of Biggar police station to the public, but sadly we weren't successful. I think that Police Scotland should realise that there should be flexibility in services in rural areas, and that we should look again at how local accountability and fairness can be returned to policing.
“I know that local policemen and women will be working harder than ever to maintain local services, while facing greater disruption from the re-organisation, and I want to thank them for all their hard work.”