Is an all-Scotland police force the answer?

There seems to be a headlong rush in political circles to merge Scotland’s police forces into one. To hear some people speak you would think it was the only way to reduce costs. I’m not convinced.

police

I believe I am not alone. I saw with interest the ‘vox pop’ piece in the Evening Express and – although it is in no way a scientific measure of public opinion – I was not at all surprised at the apparent strength of opposition to merging police forces.

Policing is something that needs local knowledge and an understanding of the communities it serves. I can already hear the wails post-merger, as people complain that a police force based in Strathclyde or Lothian and Borders can’t possibly understand the particular policing requirements in rural Aberdeenshire, or the Highlands and Islands.



Indeed, I remember similar concerns in places like Mull, when Strathclyde police swallowed up their local constabulary.

Our politicians would do well to sound out the opinions of their constituents very carefully before being caught up in the rush to merge.

There must be more ways that one to save money and improve our policing.
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