Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today criticised the decision from Police Scotland to close the emergency call centres in Inverness and Aberdeen.
The announcement confirms that both the Inverness and Aberdeen call centre will be shut down by the end of October this year.
The closures mean that any 999 or 101 calls from Orkney will be answered in one of three centres in the central belt.
Despite a review into call centre operations by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland (HMICS) calling for the north call centres to remain open for the immediate future, the Scottish Government has this week confirmed the centres will close.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“I have long made the case that the closure of call centres in Inverness and Inverness would result in a loss of local knowledge. Despite cross-party pleas, Scottish Government Ministers and Police Scotland management have ignored the warnings.
“As well as the impact on staff in Inverness and Aberdeen and Inverness, communities in Orkney and across the North of Scotland will rightfully feel let down. Centralisation of services rarely if ever works in the interests of rural and remote communities.
“The Scottish Police Authority now has the responsibility to ensure that any new system will come into place and is tested to work effectively before any closures go ahead later this year".