Councillors in talks with top police officers

Assistant chief constable Kate Thomson and Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall
Assistant chief constable Kate Thomson and Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall

Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall have held high-level talks with two of the area’s leading police officers this week.

The local members’ meeting with Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson and local Chief Inspector Andy McLean was arranged to discuss a range of policing issues impacting the Hawick area with a particular emphasis on the 101 non-emergency number, the reported lack of police officers and the new ‘flexible’ policing model that results in local officers deployed to areas with greater priorities.

A former Borders police commander, Councillor WaMcAteer said: “While the challenges facing Police Scotland are well known, it was extremely encouraging to meet with Kate Thomsonand to receive her reassurance that Hawick and the Borders is top of her agenda.

“With her roots in county and community-based policing, she realises just how important it is for officers to spend dedicated time in the community, engaging and reassuring a public who have at times felt let down.

“She described how the flexible policing model was working effectively and ensuring that valuable police resources are targeted to deal with specific concerns.

Councillor Marshall added: “While the 101 number remains a problem, we were told that plans were well advanced to resolve the issue and that we would be kept informed of progress.

“We were delighted that the Assistant Chief Constable took the time to visit and meet us and to provide an honest and detailed update covering a range of policing matters. Maintaining this type of contact and relationship will allow us to keep Hawick folk fully informed.”

Discussion also took place on the future of the Wilton Hill police station given the reduced police presence since its previous role as a divisional police headquarters.

Councillor McAteer added: “Maintaining a significant police presence in Hawick is a priority. This building is currently underused and I encourage dialogue with other criminal justice services in the Borders on the future of this building.”