ONE of the Capital’s main police stations is among dozens across the country in urgent need of repair, it has emerged.
Gayfield Square station is among those rated “poor” according to a review of the police estate by legacy forces prior to the establishment of Police Scotland in 2013.
Some of the buildings that police officers are working out of were built in the Victorian era and are not fit for the expectations and demands of a modern police service.Calum Steele
Details obtained using Freedom of Information legislation show a total of 69 buildings across the country were rated “poor” or “bad” when handed to Police Scotland three years ago.
While most of Edinburgh’s police stations were deemed “satisfactory”, Portobello was also described as being in a “poor” condition.
Police Scotland, which is carrying out its own estates review, is expected to have to spend millions on bringing the buildings up to an acceptable standard. Other buildings rated “poor” included the divisional HQ in Dundee and the national police college at Tulliallan.
According to a list of buildings which are used for operational policing purposes, 69 are graded at the lowest levels of either C (poor) or D (bad).
Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said ageing buildings with asbestos and others unable to handle modern IT systems helped create a “very bleak picture”.
He said: “The main buildings are the easy ones to pick on, but the reality is that in any of the more landward areas of the force the estate is in a fairly questionable condition.
“Some of the buildings that police officers are working out of were built in the Victorian era and are not fit for the expectations and demands of a modern police service.”
Police Scotland must find cumulative savings of £1.1 billion by 2026 and is facing an £85m funding gap.
Earlier this year the force was told to “remedial action” by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after asbestos was found in some of its buildings.
David Seath, head of estates at Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland has identified its priorities for building repairs and these will be undertaken subject to available resources. The programme of repairs will take many years to complete as it is a rolling programme.
“Where the cost of repairs is exceptionally high, Police Scotland will look at alternatives to making repairs in line with the estate strategy. Making the best use of our buildings is an ongoing process as we create a sustainable operating model for our service. We continue to examine all opportunities to share resources with relevant partners.”