Mice terrorise city police HQ canteen

Fettes Police HQ has been terrorised by mice. Montage: Kirstie Paton
Fettes Police HQ has been terrorised by mice. Montage: Kirstie Paton
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Police in the city are used to playing cat and mouse with criminals.

For Lothian and Borders’ finest, however, taking on a horde of rodents in the canteen is beyond their usual remit.

Officers at Fettes have been left to just eat sandwiches

Officers at Fettes have been left to just eat sandwiches

But staff and visitors at the Fettes HQ have been going hungry after an infestation of mice shut down their canteen.

Hot dishes have been suspended at the building since the start of the week as pest controllers move in to try to eradicate the furry terrors.

One canteen user told the Evening News: “It’s funny, but not really embarrassing for us as it’s privately run. They put a message round saying it would be closed for an unknown length of time.

“Apparently, there was initially a problem with the gas.

“It had been closed since the start of the week and will stay closed until they get the mice under control.

“The canteen is used by all staff at headquarters and visitors. It’s quite a big place and well used.”

It is understood staff received an e-mail notifying them that the canteen had been suspended, but the message did not explain why.

Catering provider Sodexo, which is contracted by Lothian and Borders Police to run the canteen, confirmed pest control measures were under way.

A spokeswoman said: “As a precautionary measure, food is not being served in the canteen. Only packaged food such as sandwiches is available.”

In 2009, police chiefs spent nearly £95,000 refurbishing the canteen.

Mice can carry a wide range of diseases, including salmonella and the potentially life-threatening hantavirus, which can be passed on to humans by contaminating food or surfaces with urine, droppings and hairs.

Officers at St Leonard’s police station kept their offices mouse-free with the aid of Tiggy, the police community cat, a ginger tom who was praised for his mouse- detecting skills when he passed away in 2009, at the grand old age of 20.

Fettes HQ is not the first high-profile building in the city to suffer from a mouse infestation. Last year, it emerged pest controllers were being called out to city schools every day to deal with infestations.

Figures revealed mice were the biggest problem in schools across the Capital, closely followed by ants, while wasps also appeared to be a major problem.