South Scotland

Dumfries control room closure debated at Scottish Parliament

The closure of the Dumfries police control room - affecting 34 staff - has been discussed at Holyrood.

Dumfriesshire Labour MSP Elaine Murray led the member's debate at the Scottish Parliament.

She said she wanted to hold Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to account over the move.

He has previously said the changes were being made in order to ensure the "best possible police service" and meet "significant" financial challenges.

The Dumfries control room is scheduled to close by the end of May.

It is first of five centres set to shut, to be followed by Stirling in December 2014, Glenrothes in March 2015, Pitt Street in Glasgow in March 2015 and Aberdeen in December 2015.

The parliament debate comes a day after an 11,000-signature petition condemning the move was handed over to police bosses.

Industrial action

Representatives of the 34 civilian staff affected in Dumfries passed the document to the Scottish Police Authority Board at its meeting in Inverness.

Unison Scotland has also said it will ballot police members for industrial action over control room closures.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said: "The Dumfries control room situation does throw up some of the difficulties.

"Sometimes the change that is being delivered is bad news, and the reality is people just don't like to hear that.

"But the minute that was the case we had in place a communications strategy in the weeks running up to that to inform all those impacted by it as soon as possible."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites