Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill

SNP MSP Bill Walker has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill which will put local knowledge at the heart of delivering services in communities across Scotland.
Every local authority area will have its own local commander, and local authorities will agree local policing plans with the commander. 
The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill will see the establishment of “The Police Service of Scotland”. The current functions of fire and rescue authorities will transfer to the “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service”, which will employ all staff from the current eight fire and rescue authorities to the new service.
Mr Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, said:
“These announcements will see Scotland’s police continue to make Dunfermline and the whole Scotland safer. Crime in Scotland is currently at its lowest level since 1976. 
“Moving to a single police force will ensure the future of the force, including the 1000 extra officers on the beat that the SNP pledged and delivered.
“These reforms come on the back of potentially devastating Westminster cuts, but we can and will do more with less, by focussing on a stronger connection between communities and their local police and fire and rescue services.
“The new structure of policing and fire services will see a local commander for every local authority area, giving a real local point of contact and ensuring local priorities are decided by police and councillors working together.
“A single force is not unusual: countries with similar sized populations, such as Denmark, Norway and New Zealand, take this approach.   At a time when the Tories and Lib Dems are slashing police numbers in England, this approach will ensure that in Scotland we continue to protect our communities properly.
“I welcome today’s proposals. Now that political opponents of reform have seen them, such as the Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, I hope they recognise that their fears and smears were ill placed.  Scotland’s police force will be independent and answerable to local communities.”

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