3000 jobs to go in police forces

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AS many as 3000 civilian staff cuts from the country’s police forces could hit Scotland - and Galloway - under the new single-force plans due to take effect from April next year.

The newly-appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland, Stephen House, said on Wednesday that many of these job losses will be a result of voluntary redundancies or early retirement, but that “tough decision will have to be made.”

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.”

Now local politicians are calling for a break-down of the figures to give a prediction of the effect they will have in Galloway.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “Local people will now worry that their worst fears about the effect of the merger on our region will come true. Under the SNP, Dumfries and Galloway already has to fight for everything we get from the Scottish Government. My big concern is that as a result of these job losses we will see services centralised away from Dumfries and Galloway. Local policing in our area is under threat and Labour is determined to fight to protect local jobs and services.”