Macdonald calls for rethink on police control room closures



North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has today called on Chief Constable Phil Gormley to reverse plans to close Aberdeen’s police control rooms, after it emerged that the contract to provide an IT system for the new virtual control rooms in the Central belt has been cancelled.

Lewis said :

“Police Scotland’s cancellation of the IT contract for its Contact, Command and Control division casts fresh doubt over their plans to close control rooms in Aberdeen and in Inverness.

“The system of Virtual Control Rooms in the Central Belt would be entirely reliant on this new IT system, as was made clear to me when I visited one of these sites at Bilston Glen, Edinburgh in February.

“After the M9 tragedy, HMICS made it clear that the planned closures should not go ahead unless systems and staffing were in place for the new Virtual Control Rooms to operate safely and effectively.

“I believe that the cancellation of the IT contract by Police Scotland casts doubt over the safety of future Contact, Command and Control, and that plans to close the Aberdeen control rooms should be reversed.

“Given the choice between pouring yet more money into yet another unsuccessful Scottish Government IT project, or investing in the excellent control rooms and staff Police Scotland already have, it seems to me the choice is clear. Plans for control room closures should be abandoned without further delay.”

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