The consultation process over proposed police counter closures may not be the full public procedure that might have been expected.
Carnoustie Police Office counter is one of those throughout Scotland which could be closed, limiting public contact with local officers.
Angus councillor David May has contacted both his local SNP MSP as well as the chief executive of Angus Council as it appears that the Police Scotland proposals on police counters cuts as well as the removal of traffic warden services from its operations are not the subject of a full and transparent consultation. Currently it seems only the staff will be consulted directly.
Councillor May commented: “In my view it is important that people who are affected by the proposals have the opportunity to make their views known. In the case of Angus the removal of traffic warden duties would impact on all Angus communities, and that of the police counters on would impact on Brechin, Carnoustie and Montrose.“
He continued: “I agree with Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes who pointed out that, at present, we have been told that people who enquire about the changes are simply being pointed to an e-mail address through which to get in touch with their concerns. This approach seems half-hearted at best.”
The MSP, has written to Chief Constable Stephen House calling on him to launch a consultation on the proposed public counter closures.
In her letter she also urged him to agree to make the findings of any consultation public and demanded that he set out a clear timetable for both the consultation and any subsequent closures and changes to opening hours.
Ms McInnes has tabled a motion in Parliament expressing concerns about the plans and has appealed to MSPs from all parties to get behind it. She is also seeking a meeting with Police Scotland to discuss the issue.
Councillor May concluded: “ At present, Angus residents can get the details of the reviews and briefing packs at http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2013/october/reviews-public-counters-traffic-wardens/
“However, it is far from clear if this is an announcement or a consultation.”