Highland Council receives update on Inverness Police Control Room
Highland Council members have responded to a presentation by Police Scotland on Police Control Rooms. Members of the Communities and Partnerships Committee received an update at their meeting on 23 March.
Police Scotland outlined their intention to move to a national command and control through the rationalisation of the control rooms to three in Dundee, Govan and Bilston Glen, with the transfer of command and control from Inverness to Dundee from August 2016.
Members sought clarification on future arrangements. A number of members expressed the continuing desire to keep the Inverness Control Room and to have adequate local scrutiny in place if the removal of command and control goes ahead.
Chair of the Communities and Partnerships Committee, Cllr Hamish Fraser said: “There are clear concerns about the changes to be made, such as identifying correct locations and place names. We are told that a great deal of work has been done on this and I am slightly more comfortable, but we should have a system in place that is failsafe.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson Cllr Davidson added: “The HMICS Report set the bar high for standards of assurance and we need to have a guarantee that these standards have been met. I would like a much clearer idea of the hurdles which need to be passed before we feel safe to move to the new control systems.
“For me the biggest risk is around reputational risk to Police Scotland and public confidence. We have been told the Inverness Control Room is to close in just five months. How do we know that these assurances are strong enough and that this decision is not just being driven by money?
“We have a tradition of policing by consent, but there is not the consent of the Highlands for this major change. I would like to know whether there is a case for keeping open the Inverness Control Room.”