Your chance to tell MSPs of Bute police concerns

Police are appealing for information.
Police are appealing for information.

Are you worried about plans to scrap the police inspector’s post based in Rothesay? Well, now’s your chance to tell an influential group of MSPs exactly what you think of the proposal.

The Scottish Parliament’s justice sub-committee on policing is asking communities across Scotland for evidence on the impact of police reform on local policing - and the proposal by Police Scotland to have two inspectors, based in Dunoon and Helensburgh, covering the Bute, Cowal and Lomond area under a single area commander, is likely to come high on the list of the island’s concerns.

The MSPs want to know whether the change to a new national police service has been good for local communities, and are asking people if they have noticed any benefits since the change came into effect on April 1, or if they have been at the sharp end of variations in police practices in their local area.

The proposal to reduce the number of Bute, Cowal and Helensburgh police inspectors from three to two, and to abolish the dedicated Bute post currently held by Gordon Anderson, as part of what the area’s senior officer, Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan, described as “a review of local management”, was revealed by The Buteman in September.

“The aims of police reform relating to local policing were to protect and improve local services and strengthen the link between services and communities,” said justice committee convener Christine Grahame MSP.

“We want to know how the newly merged Police Scotland force is bedding in across the country and whether people have noticed any benefits or deterioration in the service they have come to expect from their local police.

“There has already been a lot of coverage about the closure of police counters and the perception that policing practices are being standardised across the country at the detriment of local flexibility.

“We want to hear what is fiction and what is fact from the people on the receiving end of local policing. I’d encourage local communities across Scotland to make their views known to us.”

The call for evidence will close on November 29, and contributions can be emailed (in Microsoft Word format) to justice.committee@scottish.parliament.uk or sent in writing to: Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, Room T2.40, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP.

For more information on the sub-committee’s call for evidence, click here.

Readers with long(ish) memories might recall that it was the vote of the Justice Committee that finally confirmed the closure of Rothesay Sheriff Court back in June of this year, although in this case the sub-committee on policing comprises members of the parliament’s Justice Committee, the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and the Equal Opportunities Committee.