Warning over police review

The announcement that a review of desk services across Scotland’s police stations has been met by a warning from Liberal Democrat MSP.

Alison McInnes, who is MSP for the North East, has said that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to access to justice.

Mrs McInnes is also the justice spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.

Her comments come after Police Scotland confirmed that they are set to assess the level of services provided at police offices and the opening times of public desks.

In a letter to Mrs McInnes, Police Scotland said that the Chief Constable has “commissioned a review of the level of public service that occurs at Police offices and to determine the most efficient opening times to the public and services provided”.

Mrs McInnes said: “I think everyone would agree that Police Scotland needs to spend their budget effectively but there will be real concerns that this review could lead to a reduction in local services.

“In many Scottish communities, the local station is the most visible Police presence and the easiest way for people to access justice. And we know that when it comes to local justice, one size does not fit all.

“Different communities have different needs.

“For people in rural areas in particular, the prospect of reduced opening hours of public counters will be a real concern.

“Coming so soon after the SNP’s court closures this would come as another blow to locally delivered justice in Scotland.”

The recent court closures seen the axe fall on the Sheriff Court services in Arbroath, with the Forfar Sheriff Court being the only court now in Angus.