Edinburgh MSP calls for Leith Police Station move to Victoria Quay
and live on Freeview channel 276
An Edinburgh MSP has written to the Scottish Justice Secretary and the Edinburgh police commander with an interesting proposal to relocate the under-threat Leith Police Station to a new modern station at the underused Victoria Quay.
Leith Police Station at Queen Charlotte Street is one of five Edinburgh police stations under threat of closure as part of an organisation-wide restructure, with Police Scotland looking to permanently shut more than 40 buildings across the country. Edinburgh Northern and Leith MSP Ben Macpherson, SNP, believes that the Leith station should be relocated to the Scottish Government building close to Ocean Terminal, which has been under-used since the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "Victoria Quay has been used less by the civil service since the pandemic, so I have written previously to the Scottish Government a number of times already to ask whether the space could be better used - by the creative industries, small start-ups, the tech sector, or by local organisations.
"And when discussions began again recently about the Police Scotland estate review, I thought, well if Police Scotland do move from the current Leith Police Station then perhaps Victoria Quay could be a good option for a new Leith Police Station, potentially along with other public services.
"Obviously, part of Victoria Quay will continue to be used by the civil service, but other parts of the large building could used for different purposes.
"It's got good connectivity with the tram, good road networks and parking for police vehicles.
"To me it just seems like a good option to consider, and I wondered if the Scottish Government and Police Scotland are considering it."
Mr Macpherson believes that this proposed move would better serve the police and therefore the wider community, and he is hoping for a "constructive response" to his proposal.
He said: "The current Leith Police Station on Queen Charlotte Street is a remarkable and beautiful building, but has its challenges with regards to net zero and delivering police services in a modern way.
"I understand why Police Scotland is looking at the future of the station there, but because of the high level of the population growth in Leith and that it’s a busy part of the city, there is a strong argument to keep a police station in Leith.
"This seems like a good opportunity to relocate Leith Police Station into Victoria Quay for the benefit of people in Leith and North Edinburgh.
"It's just an idea that I'm proposing but I do think there is a possibility of this happening, as the utilisation of Victoria Quay is something the Scottish Government is looking at.
"I'm hopeful that a constructive response will come through and I'm sure the Scottish Government and, more importantly, Police Scotland will be considering retaining some police estate in the north east of Edinburgh, which already has a large population and significant projected further population growth."
Responding to Mr Macpherson's proposal, a spokesperson for Police Scotland said: "We launched a consultation on 14 December 2023 on proposals to close a number of properties across the country, including Leith police station. The individual consultation for Leith is not yet live on our engagement hub but it will be added at a later date.
“We recognise the need for a local policing service for the people who live and work in Leith and a police presence in the area will continue. We are considering a number of options for possible future premises and that includes co-location with partners to improve collaboration and deliver more integrated services.
“Anyone with a view on our proposals for Leith will be encouraged to submit their thoughts and feedback when the consultation goes live.”