‘Utter embarassment’ - £300m needed to bring Scotland’s police stations up to scratch

Working conditions for some of Scotland’s police officers are an “utter embarrassment” with one station “held together with hazard tape”, MSPs have heard.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 7:54 pm
Armed police gear up for a raid. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Calum Steele, general-secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said the conditions breach health and safety obligations, with £300 million needed to bring them up to standard.

Giving evidence to Holyrood’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, he said conditions in some areas are a “complete and utter embarrassment”.

He said: “We have relatively modern buildings, we have new buildings and we have frankly decrepit buildings.

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“The Paisley office is pretty much held together with black and yellow hazard tape. The Ayr office, I think, was probably carved out of asbestos. Even our relatively new buildings are falling into a state of disrepair because no money is being spent on maintenance. They look tired and they look shabby.”

He added: “There are some fairly significant risks and dangers to the manner in which our buildings are slowly declining.”

Mr Steele said there are leaks around electricity points and stairs, adding: “The fact that the service and the authority know they have buildings that do not meet the fire and building regulations standards and still continue to operate them quite clearly shows that they are not meeting the health and safety obligations.”

Mr Steele said Police Scotland needs more capital funding – used for buildings, cars, equipment and infrastructure such as IT – as it “doesn’t have sufficient money provided to it”.

The committee heard capital funding would need to be doubled to take the force from the bottom of those across the UK to mid-table on spending.