20 Nov 2015
When crime rates in Scotland fall, the SNP Government likes to take credit for the success. When problems crop up, SNP ministers try to hide and say the responsibility lies with others. Last week HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) published a damning review of call handling centres following the tragic accident near Stirling in July when two people were killed and lay in their car for three days. The report highlighted problems with staff levels, training and IT systems. The problem is that the SNP Government has consistently been warned by Unison the trade union representing call centre staff, that Scottish Government cuts to Police Scotland were harming services. Several hundred civilian jobs have been lost, and police officers have had to be drafted in to cover. Month after month SNP ministers tried to say it was the responsibility of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). The problem is the SNP Ministers set up the SPA and sat quietly when it failed to hold Police Scotland to account. It was also the SNP Government which set up Police Scotland without a proper business plan and then try to squeeze huge budget savings. So why did it take the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill for the Scottish Government to finally order a review? Why did SNP Ministers ignore the repeated warnings from staff, the public and politicians? And why will no one in the Scottish Government take any responsibility for problems caused by ministerial decisions?