Police without radio cover after power cuts hit system

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LOTHIAN and Borders Police force has twice been left without radio cover after power cuts knocked out its £3 billion communications system.

It admitted officers were briefly left without working radios and this “could have delayed the deployment of officers to incidents”.

Councillor Iain Whyte, head of the police board, said any potential delay in responding to emergencies was a “serious” issue.

The force said in a statement: “There have been a small number of instances when the service has had to fall over to its standby equipment, so transmissions were interrupted for approximately two minutes. It is possible that this could have delayed the deployment of officers to incidents.”

Cllr Whyte, convener of Lothian and Borders Police Board, said: “Any delayed response to a 999 call is serious ,no matter what the cause.”

A police spokeswoman said: “There were two incidents in the last 12 months where, for example, power outages affected the network. The network did not fail.

“On a small number of occasions, officers have reported brief failures to their Airwave system.”