No change to Bute’s police presence

Chief Inspector Gary Stitt has said there will be no noticeable change to policing on Bute if the proposed police merger goes ahead.
Chief Inspector Gary Stitt has said there will be no noticeable change to policing on Bute if the proposed police merger goes ahead.

Police Scotland’s area commander for Bute says a proposed merger between police services in Argyll, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire will result in no noticeable change to policing on the island.

Chief Inspector Gary Stitt was speaking to Bute Community Council this week on the proposed merger, which is currently in consultation.

He said: “The consultation process was due to finish in February but there were a number of concerns about there having been the appropriate amount of consultation, so it is being continued to get as many views as possible.

“Again, there will be no change to policing on the Isle of Bute - absolutely no change whatsoever. It should actually help it, as it’ll increase the number of officers we can deploy should a situation call for it.

Community councillor Paul Duffy asked if the merger is effectively a ‘streamlining of the upper ranks’, to which Commander Stitt replied: “What we’ve identified is there are a number of functions carried out at senior rank that could be merged, and administrative tasks which can also be merged elsewhere. This will allow our officers to be out on the streets more often.”

Community councillor, Frank Baxter asked how many posts would be lost as a result of the merger. Commander Stitt explained that at the moment there are no figures, but stressed that there will be no redundancies as a result of the restructure.

* Use the hashtag #commanderchat on Twitter on Monday, March 30, between 4-5pm, to ask police commanders questions on the restructure proposals.