Frontline pledge as top cops axed

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The shock axing of three chief inspector posts across the Kingdom will not damage frontline police services, Fife’s top police officer has vowed.

Addressing Fife Council’s police transition committee, Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan said the reduction of seven posts to four created “a sense of change but not a sense of loss.”

Committee members expressed disappointment at the decision and were disturbed that the new national force’s decision to redistribute Fife’s ranks had been made without local consultation.

“I had a lot of one-to-one discussions with the chief inspectors to understand their views and, hand on heart, they said their areas of command were too small. The change will give them access to more resources,” assured Chief Supt McEwan.

“One had supervision of just 37 police officers compared to other chief inspectors across Scotland who have in excess of 200 officers. The maximum in Fife was 100.”

He confirmed chief inspector Gordon Mitchell (formerly Kirkcaldy) would now take over Dunfermline/Cowdenbeath/SW Fife; David McEwan (Glenrothes) would now be responsible for Glenrothes/Kirkcaldy and Adrian Annandale had taken over north east Fife.

Graeme Kinmond, currently working in Levenmouth, would continue but, if he decided to retire in nine months, the area would be merged with north east Fife.

Explaining the Kirkcaldy move, he said: “If you look at criminal movements there’s a tendency to move between Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy, also geographically, there’s the A92 and Cluny Road and that offers us the ability of a quick response.”

Chief Supt McEwan vowed a “bedrock” of eight existing community inspectors and the same detective inspector ranks would remain in Fife.

However, Cllr Helen Law said: “I find it staggering that we are having these changes so quickly and I’m really concerned for the troops on the ground.”