Date: Fri 27 August 2010
UNISON has called for a halt to the proposed job cuts among police staff. The union said that the proposals made by various police forces were "great news for criminals" and that if implemented the sackings would make Scotland less safe.
UNISON has already sought a joint approach to the Scottish government with Strathclyde Police to address the threat to jobs and service levels. The union is widening the approach as the scale of job and service cuts now being proposed across other Scottish police forces becomes clearer.
UNISON organises police staff in forces across Scotland and was reacting to announcements by three forces to cut both police staff and police officers.
A UNISON spokesperson said:
"This is great news for criminals across Scotland as police are taken off the beat to do jobs more usefully, and cost effectively, done by police staff.
"These proposals are turning the clock back thirty years and will wipe out all of the efficiencies and advances we’ve made since then. We now have specialised, trained and dedicated staff whose employment means police officers can be released for frontline duties.
"This is not even a saving - it will actually cost more and take officers away from the frontline where the public rightly expect them to be.
"No one can pretend that Scotland will be a safer place if these cuts are implemented. As they stand these proposals are little more than a charter for criminals."
Note for Editors:
Police staff are a vital part of modern effective policing. Scotland has made progress in "police civilianisation" in recent years but still has some way to go to catch up with the situation in England and Wales. UNISON Scotland's Briefing 209 on Police Civilianisation in Scotland (May 2009) states: "Police staffs comprise 28% of all police personnel in Scotland. In comparison, the figure for England & Wales is 32% (excluding Police Community Support Officers)". The Briefing also reports on studies showing the benefits of civilianisation: "Workforce modernisation studies in England & Wales demonstrate that further civilianisation allied to a reconfiguration of police personnel is associated with a wide range of performance, economic, stakeholder and community benefits for police forces."
UNISON Scotland's Briefing 209 on Police Civilianisation in Scotland (May 2009) is available on the UNISON Scotland website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/briefings/209policecivilianisation.pdf