Hawick’s Tory MSP John Lamont is backing calls for a review of Police Scotland, including looking at the possibility of a two-tier police service, which would combine national strategic cooperation with local autonomy.
The Scottish Conservatives have launched an action plan following recent revelations surrounding armed police, stop and search and the police’s refusal to provide detailed figures for the number of officers deployed in the Borders following a Freedom of Information request from retired officer Harry Scott from Galashiels.
Mr Lamont told the Hawick News: “I did not support the legislation which established Police Scotland because I was concerned that there were insufficient safeguards in place to protect local accountability.
“Unfortunately these concerns have proved to be justified as communities in the Borders have been kept in the dark about important decisions such as arming police officers, stop and search and even police numbers.
“Clearly, this one-size-fits-all approach to policing isn’t working in the Borders and it’s about time we ensured that the rural approach to policing was protected and local accountability restored.”
Mr Lamont added: “That is why I support a wholesale review of Police Scotland. We need to consider what can be done to strengthen local accountability and provide much needed flexibility for rural policing.”