Letter: Police and Fire Reform Bill (June 28th)

On Wednesday 27th June, I was proud to vote for the establishment of this new service that returns powers to local communities and helps to preserve our record high numbers of police officers, placing resources where they are most needed.

In contrast to the Scottish Government’s commitment to public services, the Conservative-Liberal Coalition Government is set to slash 16,000 officers down south, an act that the Police Federation has described as being ‘on the precipice of destroying’ the police service in England and Wales.

Contrary to the claims of other parties, this new service does not move power away from communities. Instead, it places them in a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with their local commander, strengthening the ties between the service and the community it serves.

The fact that Shetland Islands Council, for example, must now have its approval sought on the delivery of services on Shetland is surely an improvement on the current arrangements.

I call upon people of all parties and none to help realise the potential of this new service by working with local communities to increase co-operation across all levels of government.

Yours,

 

Jean Urquhart MSP

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