View Full Version : Civilian jobs to go in new Scottish force

26-Sep-12, 15:56
Won't affect service to public says new police supremo

The newly appointed chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland has said as many as 3,000 support staff could be lost as he seeks to merge eight forces into one, report the BBC today.
Stephen House said policing would have to cost less in the future.
But that should not affect the service the public experience, he added.
Mr House, who is currently chief constable of Strathclyde Police, also said local policing would not suffer as a result of the national force.
He highlighted tackling domestic abuse and organised crime as top priorities.
And speaking to the media at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan in Fife, he said his greatest challenge would be to improve performance while funding is falling.
He said "many, many hundreds" of support staff - and perhaps as many as 3,000 - could go.
I will be a chief constable for the whole of Scotland and not just for parts of Scotland”
End Quote Stephen House
The chief constable added: "It's difficult to be precise at this moment in time, because calculations are still being made and it depends on a lot of different factors.
"I would stress that the plan and the expectation is that much of this will happen through voluntary redundancies and early retirement packages.
"The government has said, and I think it's quite right, that we're not keen on the idea of compulsory redundancies, so we would be looking to identify jobs where there was some duplication, where we didn't need to do that work any more, and either redeploy those staff into other jobs or see if they wanted to take a voluntary redundancy package or early retirement.
"So, it's something that will be done in a co-operative and compliant way, working with the unions representing the workers."
'Locally tailored'
There have been concerns that the new single force would concentrate its resources on the country's big cities, to the detriment of rural areas.
But Mr House compared it with Strathclyde, which serves more than half of Scotland's population, policing remote areas and islands including Arran and Mull as well as urban centres such as Glasgow.
"I think there is a popular concern and sensitivity amongst some quarters that coming from a force like Strathclyde, and immediately before that the Metropolitan Police, I'm a big city chief constable who has no concern or care for policing in local communities outside city areas," he said.
"Let me just try and set the record straight - I've worked in six forces, in fact Police Service of Scotland will be my seventh force - three have been relatively small county forces and much of my policing experience is in those.
"The flexibility that we deliver currently in Strathclyde speaks well for the ability of the single police service in Scotland to provide a locally tailored and flexible service which meets the needs of the community, but also takes advantage of the benefits of size and the power that will also bring.
"I don't minimise or in any way trivialise those concerns and I hope my actions over the next few years leading the organisation will prove that I will be a chief constable for the whole of Scotland and not just for parts of Scotland."
'Precise procedure'
Mr House, 54, is expected to take up his role with the new unified force, which formally comes into being next April, in the autumn.
His appointment to the £208,000-a-year post was confirmed by the Scottish Police Authority on Tuesday.
He will lead the UK's second largest police force once the merger is complete, and said he believed he was worth the amount of money he will be paid.
Mr House said: "I do believe I'm worth it. Time will tell, but that £208,000 wasn't decided by myself.
"It was decided by a fairly precise procedure of what other people are paid in similar-sized organisations.
"It's probably at par with that level for the size of the organisation."
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has previously said there would be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the unified force, which will provide employment for about 6,500 support staff.
But trade unions had warned that 3,000 posts could go.