Fife control room closures approved

Fife Police Contact Centre based in Glenrothes is to close
Fife Police Contact Centre based in Glenrothes is to close

Proposals to close police and fire control centres in Fife have been approved.

The plan will see the police control room, based at the former Fife Police headquarters in Detroit Road, Glenrothes, shut in March 2015.

The move, confirmed on Thursday by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), will also see the closure of two control rooms in Aberdeen close, along with those in Stirling, Dumfries and Pitt Street in Glasgow.

Under the plan put forward by Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House, five of the force’s 11 sites will be retained.

Motherwell and Govan will now form a West Area Control centre, with Bilston Glen near Edinburgh given responsibility for the East Command Area, which will include Fife, and Dundee the North Area Command.

A total of almost 1500 police officers and civilian staff are currently employed in the control rooms.

Affected civilian staff will be offered redeployment, voluntary redundancy or early retirement, with a “phased consultation” with unions and staff to be carried out.

Vic Emery, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “Having established a single police service, it is vital that Police Scotland operates in a way that exploits the advantages and potential of that arrangement, while also retaining the valuable expertise that has been built up over many years.

“Contact, command and control is an obvious area for early consideration. What worked for the former eight forces clearly cannot be fit for purpose for one, and by starting to address that we are moving from being a single joined up service in name to one of reality.

“The Authority has thoroughly tested those proposals today. We have approved the overall direction of travel for the next two years.

“We understand that for some parts of the country the impact of post reductions and relocations are a concern. I want to stress that this remains the early stages of the reform process, not the end of it.”

Meanwhile the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is to close five of its control rooms including the Fife facility based in Thornton.

The fire service board earlier on Thursday approved plans to reduce the number of control rooms, which handle emergency calls, from eight to three.

Those being lost are in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dumfries, Fife and Falkirk, while Johnstone in Renfrewshire, Edinburgh and Dundee will remain open.