Fears have been raised about a potential 74-mile “gulf” in police coverage in the north-east.
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has written to Police Scotland after being notified of plans to rehome the north-east’s mobile force from Stonehaven to Inverurie.
He told the divisional commander that local community councils are deeply concerned, and he has asked for assurances that there won’t be any decline in marked cars on the A90 south of Aberdeen.
In the letter, the MP told chief superintendent Campbell Thomson: “We have to understand the concerns of local people.
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“The public face of justice took a hammering here when the SNP government closed Stonehaven sheriff court.
“My constituents will rightly be worried another vital piece of local justice is being centralised.
“They are worried about the distance between Inverurie and the Tayside roads policing unit in Dundee – 74 miles of road is a big gulf.
“They need to know, as do I, that this won’t affect road policing on one of Scotland’s busiest roads and indeed in the smaller towns and villages.”
Road Policing Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie said: “The job of a road policing officer is transient in its nature and despite a small number of officers relocating to other established bases in the North East, nothing will change in the way we patrol our communities. The same patrols will continue and the strengthening of our teams at Inverurie, Mintlaw and Elgin has the potential to offer an increased service across the North East of Scotland.
“The infrastructure landscape is dramatically changing in the north-east with the opening of the AWPR and new travel routes are opening up across the region.
“Road policing officers need to be responsive and adapt to the needs of local communities and this decision puts us in a strong position to enhance our service delivery at a strategic and operational level.”
Community councils in south Aberdeenshire had been notified by police of the proposals to move the roads policing base.
It follows a similar move which took place in Forfar in Angus when the eight regional Scottish forces merged to form Police Scotland.