14 February 2011

Scottish Chief constable's ludicrous pro-merger argument

One wonders if Strathclyde Chief Constable, Stephen House, read my blog post of 13th January - stupidity of SNP police plans - as he launched one of the most ludicrous justification for a single Scottish police force.

His argument is that a single mega force is needed to deal with major incidents like the Derrick Bird shootings, because the small Cumbria police had to ask for outside help to deal with it.

Now there have been a grand total of three such mass shootings in the last 24 years in the UK. I guess you could throw in the occasional terrorist atrocity - but you are still talking about no more than half a dozen major incidents in a quarter of a century in the whole UK - let alone Scotland. I know of no other organisation that would dream of managing itself on the basis of a permanent capacity to deal with unprecedented incidents with the huge amount of resource redundancy that involves.

One suspects the chief constable isn't exactly unaware of the consequent uplift in the terms and conditions to be expected by the holder of a new mega police chief compared with a mere Chief Constable.

This is a big opportunity for the Lib Dems north of the border. They have been a consistent voice in favour of local policing and against the self agrandising bureaucracy and waste a mega force would undoubtedly bring. And they ought to make it their own in the elections to Holyrood in May.

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