Dozens of ‘crumbling’ police buildings in urgent need of repair

The Tulliallan college  which also serves as Police Scotlands corporate HQ  is rated as poor in a survey. Picture: John Devlin
The Tulliallan college  which also serves as Police Scotlands corporate HQ  is rated as poor in a survey. Picture: John Devlin
Share this article
0
Have your say

Dozens of buildings belonging to Scotland’s cash-strapped police force are in urgent need of repair, according to a survey of its crumbling estate.

Details obtained by The Scotsman show a total of 69 buildings across the country were rated “poor” or “bad” when handed to Police Scotland by legacy forces in 2013.

The police force, which is currently carrying out its own estates review, is expected to have to spend millions on bringing the buildings up to an acceptable standard.

The poorest buildings include police stations such as Gayfield Square in Edinburgh, the divisional HQ in Aberdeen and the national police college at Tulliallan.

According to a list of buildings which are used for operational policing purposes, 69 are graded at the lowest levels of either C (poor) or D (bad).

It includes local police stations across Scotland, as well as bigger premises such as the divisional HQ in West Bell Street, Dundee (poor) and the former Grampian Police HQ – now divisional HQ – in Queen Street, Aberdeen (bad).

The national police college at Tulliallan in Fife, which also acts as Police Scotland’s corporate HQ, is described as “poor”.

Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said ageing buildings with asbestos and others unable to handle modern IT systems helped create a “very bleak picture” for the force.

He said: “The main buildings are the easy ones to pick on, but the reality is that in any of the more landward areas of the force the estate is in a fairly questionable condition.

“Some of the buildings that police officers are working out of were built in the Victorian era and are not fit for the expectations and demands of a modern police service.”

Police Scotland must find cumulative savings of £1.1 billion by 2026 and is facing a £85m funding gap.

Earlier this year it emerged the force was told to take “remedial action” by the Health and safety Executive (HSE) after asbestos was found in some of its buildings.

David Seath, head of estates at Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland has identified its priorities for building repairs and these will be undertaken subject to available resources. The programme of repairs will take many years to complete.

“Where the cost of repairs is exceptionally high, Police Scotland will look at alternatives to making repairs in line with estate strategy,”he said.