POLICE officers have been angered by extra hours and travelling expected of them to provide security for the Commonwealth Games, The Scotsman has learned.
It has been claimed that motorists will be put at risk by exhausted police officers making their way home from Games venues having spent 64 hours of a four-day stretch either working or driving.
An anonymous e-mail sent to The Scotsman claimed officers were “furious over the latest bullying tactics from senior officers”.
The e-mail said that Police Scotland was ordering officers to turn up for duty at remote venues outside their normal shift patterns. It claimed that colleagues had been told that it was their responsibility to ensure that they had business car insurance, so it would be legal for them to use their own car to go the extra distance to work.
“Police officers are also concerned about the safety of the public, fearing that they will be a danger on the roads after working extended shifts miles from home,” the e-mail said.
“An example of this is an officer who has been ordered to parade at a venue, two hours drive from their normal place of duty, for a 12-hour night shift and this is to be done for four consecutive nights.
“Aside from the obvious cost of petrol for these journeys, and the 16 hours of the officer’s time to travel, which Police Scotland are refusing to pay for, it is frightening that this officer will be driving home in the early morning, having effectively worked 64 hours in four days.”
The complaints were echoed by another police source.
A senior officer said: “I have difficulty managing my officers, many of whom don’t know if they are coming or going and have enormous uncertainty and anguish about personal and childcare arrangements because of the lack of information coming from the Commonwealth Games planning team.”
The Scotsman understands that the Police Federation, the body which looks after the interests of officers, intends to raise its concerns about Games staffing with Chief Constable Sir Stephen House.
Police Scotland said that guidelines indicated expenses were available to reimburse officers required to spend more on travelling beyond their normal journey to work.
Assistant Chief Constable Derek Robertson, Silver Commander for Commonwealth Games Safety and Security, added: “The deployment of officers is constantly reviewed, in consultation with the Police Federation, in order to minimise the possibility of any officer being required to work excessive hours or travel excessive distances to their place of duty.”
He added: “If any officer has concerns about welfare or their duties they should immediately raise this with their supervisors, who will be more than happy to address any personal issues.”