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McInnes: Justice Secretary has questions to answer over single Police force

June 24, 2013 10:08 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes hasAlison McInnesAlison McInnes today said that the Justice Secretary has questions to answers over the single police. This comes after it emerged a further deal had been struck on the functions and responsibilities of the SPA and the single police.

In a letter to the Justice Committee, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill noted that HR, IT and other duplicated services, with the exception of forensics, will now be merged within Police Scotland. The Scottish Police Authority will revert to its original functions in scrutinising Police Scotland.

Commenting on the agreement, Ms McInnes said

"The SPA's empire building has at last been brought to a halt. But Kenny Macaskill has a lot of questions to answer.

"The Justice Secretary himself appointed the chairman Vic Emery, the board members and the Chief Constable.How then was it possible that they accepted those appointments but had such very different understandings of what their jobs entailed?

"Why did he allow all of this to fester for so long?

"Why has this power struggle resulted in the loss of the three most senior staff at the Police Authority? Did they resign in protest at the new structure or were they asked to leave?

"Kenny Macaskill can try and hide behind spin about different phases of the reorganisation project but the reality is there for all to see now - there has been utter turmoil where there should have been single mindedness. So much energy will have been diverted to arguing over this that ought to have been spent on ensuring the change to a single police service worked.

"The Justice Secretary must now ensure that all are pulling in the same direction and there is no more confusion at the heart of these fledgling organisations."