Police Scotland to consult over station closures

Police stations under review Image copyright Google
Image caption The properties were selected after a review of the entire Police Scotland estate

Police Scotland has said it is considering closing 53 buildings across Scotland that are "no longer required".

The force is seeking permission from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to open a "public engagement exercise" on the future of the buildings.

Forty-three of the buildings are currently empty, but the others are still used as a base for police officers or staff.

The properties were selected after a review of the entire police estate.

Twelve properties are being considered for closure in the Highlands and Islands, as well as nine across north-east Scotland.

Staff occupying the 10 buildings that are still being used would be relocated to other permanent facilities, Police Scotland said.

The (SPA) is meeting on Thursday to consider the proposal.

Police properties under review:

  • North-east Scotland: Cruden Bay, Oldmeldrum, Portsoy, Insch, Kemnay, Dyce, Cove Library, Hazlehead, Kaimhill
  • Tayside: Bridge of Earn, Longforgan, Stanley, Broughty Ferry (169 Brook Street), Police Mortuary Dundee, Muirhead, Friockheim, Letham
  • Highlands and Islands: Invergordon, Brora, Lairg, Bonar Bridge, Fortrose, Bettyhill, Dunvegan, Broadford, Lochboisdale, Sumburgh, Baltasound, Whalsay,
  • Forth Valley: Bo'ness, Bainsford, Camelon, Bridge of Allan, Bannockburn
  • Edinburgh City: High Street
  • Lothians and Scottish Borders: Gorebridge, Loanhead, Newbattle, Fauldhouse, Blackburn
  • Fife: Kincardine, Cardenden, Rosyth
  • Greater Glasgow: Pollokshaws, Saltmarket, Anderston
  • Renfrew: Johnstone (Quarry Street), Linwood,
  • Argyll and West Dunbartonshire: Strachur
  • Mid-Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands: Inveraray, Tarbert, Taynuilt
  • Lanarkshire: Uddingston

According to Police Scotland, 78% of the properties were built before the 1980s, but 22% are less than 20 years old.

Some of the buildings have been empty for many years - including those in Portsoy and Dyce in Aberdeen which have been vacant since 2002.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cowie said the force had inherited a large estate "based on legacy arrangements", with many buildings not suited to modern policing.

"There are a large number of properties currently empty, or soon to become empty, however they still have associated running costs. Such a position does not provide best value or help achieve financial sustainability," he said.

BBC Scotland learned last November that the future of dozens of police stations across the country was under threat.

The force originally had a list 58 buildings it was considering for closure as part of a review of estate strategy established in 2015.

Consultation process

It said then that the move could generate annual revenue savings of between £5m and £18m a year and property sales could raise up to £34m for the force.

A total of 397 properties were operated by the force in 2013 and since then 44 have been declared surplus to requirements.

If the SPA approves the decision, Police Scotland would begin a three-month consultation process with staff, local communities and partners.

The outcome of this would be fed back to the SPA board before any further action could be taken.

Assistant Chief Constable Cowie added: "No decision will be made on the future of any of our police stations until we have carried out this engagement process.

"Indeed, the final list of properties being considered for disposal may be amended as new needs or opportunities are discovered or offered during the engagement process."

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