Single police force will not change local police service

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Residents of Brechin will see no change in the delivery of police services following the establishment of a single police force.

Superintendent Kevin Lynch, commander of the Angus local policing area of Tayside Police assured members of the Brechin Community Council that the public will see no changes to the service they receive from the police when forces join together to create a single police force.

The new national service will come into force on April 1 2013.

Superintendent Lynch, who has been Police Commander since April, explained: “Everybody knows that the police service is changing.

“It is really just the land structure and the command structure that is changing, the actual service delivery will not change at all.”

On April 1, 2013 Tayside Police will no longer exist and will move to the Scottish Police Force.

“It would be fair to say that different people have different concerns and anxieties about the change to one police force,” added Superintendent Lynch.

“The only change that has happened over the last couple of months, in relation to that is that Angus, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City, which used to be managed by three Chief Superintendents, is now just managed by one Chief Superintendent supported by three Superintendents.

“Some line management for specialist departments such as CID have slightly changed but, to be quite honest, that will not make any difference to you.

“The service delivery model will not change.

“What has happened is that the Government has maintained that it will retain police officer numbers for the foreseeable future. There will be no change to that and that is a Government mandate to do that.

“The issue around that is that Tayside Police have been engaging in a process of voluntary redundancies, whereby, not police officers but police staff, have been given the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy to secure efficiency savings for the force which are quite demanding.

“To let you understand a third of our staff in Tayside Police are police staff and not police officers.

“So, with regards to service delivery to the public, you should see no change, as ultimately, along with support staff, the police stations and such like are operated by operational officers on the ground. There is no change as it stands at the moment.”

With the change to one police force there will also be a move from specific non-emergency numbers for the area you are in to one uniform non-emergency number, 101, which can be used regardless of where you are in the country.

Each community will receive a flagship officer, in Brechin and Edzell’s case, PCs Billy Rattray and Iain MacPherson, who will not be taken away from the local policing.

There will also be a move to see more police out on the street.

“I expect officers to be out of the station, whether that is in a mobile patrol or foot patrol. We are not visible in the police station and we do not expect the public to visit officers in the police station.”

The Scottish merger will create the second biggest police force in the UK.