McAskill accused of ‘indifference’ over police closure plans

MSP Alex Fergusson has accused the cabinet secretary for justice of “indifference” over plans to close the Dumfries police contorl centre.

After questioning Kenny McAskill in parliament on Tuesday about Police Scotland’s proposals, the MSP said: “I am appalled at the degree of indifference that was shown by the cabinet secretary to the situation that has developed in Dumfries and Galloway following this announcement. I asked him how any meaningful alternative proposals could be promoted within the two-week window of opportunity that exists, and was not given any real answer at all, especially as 34 local jobs are at risk.

“The many people who have contacted me on this issue believe that the offer to relocate is not worth the paper it is written on given the distances involved; cannot understand why Dumfries does not appear to have been considered as one of the new Control Centres; and are at a complete loss to understand why there has been no public consultation on this proposal at all.”

“As one who always opposed the creation of a single police force in Scotland I am horrified at this move which will simply centralise police services even further. Of all the services that we rely on, I believe that policing is best delivered locally with as much local input and knowledge as possible. The centralisation of the Control Network will do nothing to improve that service. The Scottish Government’s attitude to the proposal is simply unacceptable, and I will press the Cabinet Secretary at every available opportunity on this issue”.