UNISON Police Staff Scotland, the branch of the trade union that represents police staff in Scotland, has criticised the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee because it is unable to understand the extent of police officers back filling police staff jobs, due to lack of data.
The criticism was made in response to the report on post-legislative scrutiny of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 - The Police Service of Scotland, which has been published by the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee.
The report acknowledges that police staff jobs are being back filled by police officers in order to meet financial savings, but says it does not know the extent of problem because they have not been given the information they need to assess it.
David Malcolm, Deputy Police Staff Branch secretary said: “The Policing 2026 project was brought to the trade unions as a way to rebalance the work force. It set out to prevent our member’s jobs being carried out unnecessarily by police officers. After all, police staff provide better value to the public purse and police officers should be out on the street helping the public. We can not allow the salami-slicing of our members jobs to continue. It is bad for police staff and bad for public services.”
Gerry Crawley, UNISON regional organiser said: "This report makes clear that around 2000 police staff have been lost from the organisation. But the committee was not given the relevant data to establish the extent to which police officers have been backfilling posts. Police staff carry out highly skilled roles to protect the public. Work should be done by Police Scotland to provide the information the committee need, as soon as possible.”
You can read the report here: https://www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/111519.aspx