3 Oct 2013
Alex Salmond has backed the closure of police station front counters, insisting the public should use social media instead to report crime.
However, advice to the public on the official Police Scotland Twitter site states the site is: “Not for reporting crime.”
It comes after Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson challenged the First Minister over controversial plans to close the doors of 65 police stations across the country.
The Scottish Conservatives revealed in August last year that more than 56 police stations had already been closed in Scotland under the SNP – with a further 23 having their hours reduced.
Alex Salmond today played down the significance of the public being able to walk in to their local police station to report a crime or to speak to an officer, insisting they can also contact police by phone.
But a freedom of information request shows that up to 6,000 non-emergency calls to police a month go unanswered.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“We know the public value having access to their local police office so they can report crime and speak to officers.
“Yet, Alex Salmond wants to close police stations off to people, which would leave places like the city of Aberdeen with just one public counter.
“The First Minister’s definition of policing seems to be that reporting a crime is now regarded as a minor matter.
“Now we know his version of community policing is having officers sit behind a computer responding to tweets or speaking to the public by phone, rather than walking the streets tackling crime.
“This is nothing but policing on the cheap from the Scottish Government.
“Alex Salmond is quick to take the credit if crime figures improve, but when police stations are closing their doors to the public across the country he simply washes his hands of the issue.”