Blue-light parade marks end of an era for Tayside forces

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TAYSIDE emergency services marked their transition to a national single service with a formal ceremony in Perth this week.

On Monday the final meeting of the joint boards for Tayside Police and Tayside Fire and Rescue Service was marked with a blue-light parade of emergency vehicles.

Local dignitaries including Angus Provost Helen Oswald, Chief Constable Justine Curran and Fire Chief Officer Dave Boyle joined Dundee Deputy Provost Christina Roberts and Perth Provost Liz Grant outside the council buildings in Tay Street.

On April 1 all Scottish regional police services will merge to become the Police Service of Scotland and their counterparts in the fire and rescue service will become the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as per the 2012 Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act.

Chief Constable Curran said: “It has been an absolute honour to serve as Chief Constable of Tayside Police and build on the legacy of high quality local policing in this area and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved.

“Crime is down, the fear of crime is down and public satisfaction continues to grow.

“Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter in Scottish Policing. I know that the communities of Tayside will continue to be served by professional and committed officers and staff and who will continue to go that extra mile to provide the type of local policing our communities expect and deserve and to make a difference.”

Chief Fire Officer Dave Boyle added: “As Chief Fire Officer it gives me great pleasure to formally recognise the support that Tayside Fire Brigade and Tayside Fire and Rescue has received from the communities of Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross since our creation in 1975.

“As we move towards the commencement of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, we look forward to strengthening our connections with the communities we serve.”

Convener of the Tayside Joint Fire Board, Montrose councillor Paul Valentine was looking forward to seeing what the future would bring.

He said: “It has been an honour to serve as convener of the Joint Fire Board and I would like to thank all my colleagues on the board and officers from the fire and rescue service for their support during this time.

“I wish everyone in the new structure the very best for the future and know that they will continue to offer a first class service to communities in Tayside.”

Dundee City councillor and convener of the Tayside Joint Police Board, Jimmy Black, was fulsome in his praise of the efforts of the force.

He said: “The officers and staff of Tayside Police over the life of the force can take great pride in what they have achieved.

“Tayside Police have a proud record; generally we feel safe in Tayside and much of that is down to the effective community policing which we have developed here.

“I believe we are handing the force over in good order to the new Police Service of Scotland; I wish Chief Constable House and the new Scottish Policing Authority well.”

l Will the new streamlined national forces coming into being next week be an improvement on the existing model? Send us your comments in the usual way.