More than one-in-three major errors made by police 999 call-handling centres have seen police sent to the wrong address, north-east MSP Lewis Macdonald has revealed.
In the four months since Aberdeen’s call centre closed, there have been more than 70 “notable incidents” – 26 of which involved mistaken locations.
Scottish Labour’s Mr Macdonald said the figures were evidence call handlers, now based in Motherwell, Glasgow and Edinburgh, were struggling to locate north-east addresses.
This has included officers being sent to a Tesco store on Great Western Road in Glasgow instead of the same address in Aberdeen earlier this year.
Mr Macdonald said: “Given the importance of an immediate police presence at serious incidents, it is worrying that so many errors with addresses are being made.
“The staff at the virtual service centres are doing their best, but no-one can be expected to have a detailed knowledge of the streets in Aberdeen or of the many and varied rural addresses across the north-east, when they live in the Central Belt.
“The Aberdeen service centre and control room should never have been closed – the experience and local knowledge of dozens of police staff were lost, and that cannot be replicated by computer mapping systems.
“This issue needs to be urgently addressed by both Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, or it will be members of the public who pay the price.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the performance of Police Scotland would continue to be closely monitored.
She said: “Police call handlers make a valuable contribution, responding to over 2.5 million 101 calls and around half a million emergency calls each year.
“It is important for Police Scotland to both understand and respond to any call handling ‘notable incidents’ in order to improve the quality of service the public receive.
“The government-initiated HMICS assurance review of police call handling recommended the implementation of the processes which have now been adopted.
“Ministers expect the Scottish Police Authority to continue to monitor all aspects of Police Scotland’s performance.”