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New police information centre opens in Inverness, securing dozens of jobs

Inspector Gary McCarthy in the new unit.
Picture by Sandy McCook.
Inspector Gary McCarthy in the new unit. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A new police information centre opened in the Highlands yesterday as a “replacement” for the city’s lost control room.

The National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) went live yesterday securing dozens of jobs with more officers freed for divisional duties.

But MSPs and local councillors have said that the number of police jobs in the north will be “closely monitored.”

Inverness police control room moves to Dundee

The move is regarded as “the final milestone” by the force in delivering its call handing and incident management system.

Inverness’s control room closed on February 5, with the facility moved to Dundee amid much controversy.

Both local and national politicians feared job losses and claimed there was a lack of transparency police over the plans.

However, despite still regretting the loss of the north control room, the opening of the NDEU was welcomed yesterday.

John Finnie MSP, Scottish Greens Justice spokesperson feared losing a “wealth of expertise”.

He said: “I was concerned when it later transpired that this unit’s operation would be split across two centres.

“The launch of the NDEU ensures that Inverness will continue to play a key role in the delivery of policing in Scotland.

“However, Police Scotland can be assured that the retention, and hopefully expansion, of quality police jobs in Inverness will be closely monitored.”

A total of 30 positions, mostly civilian, will stay in Inverness while a further 14 officers will be freed for “divisional duties.”

Highland Councillor Mathew Reiss, himself a former chief inspector, said Police Scotland had to uphold their end of the bargain.

He said: “Whatever has gone before, this is where we are – the chief constable has promised extra jobs in the remote areas such as Highland.

“We hope the new unit works and we will just remain conscious of the promises about extra jobs.”

Deputy Council Leader Alasdair Christie said: “I think we have had a very bumpy ride. We have felt that we have not actually had our views listened to fully and we haven’t always had the information provided to us when we have needed it.

“However, we need to move forward now and we will see what actually happens in the forthcoming weeks.”

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