Call for urgent investment in Forth Valley police stations

Urgent investment is needed in police stations across the Forth Valley to make them fit for purpose, according to the Scottish Police Federation.

Andy Malcolm, chair of the SPF's east area committee
Andy Malcolm, chair of the SPF's east area committee

The SPF, which represents rank-and-file officers, published pictures of police stations around the country showing mouldy walls, broken toilets, leaking pipes and electric wiring held together with tape.

Pictures taken at Grangemouth Police Station highlighted a number of issues including poor floor coverings and peeling wallpaper. Photographs at Falkirk Police Station meanwhile, which closed its doors for two days this week for “vital maintenance work,” showed stained carpets and damp ceiling marks.

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Chair of the SPF’s east area committee Andy Malcolm said officers were working in ‘dire, sometimes diabolical and unhygienic’ conditions.

Picture shows peeling wallpaper in male staff toilets at Grangemouth Police Station

MSPs were told last month at the Justice sub-committee on policing at the Scottish Parliament that an estimated £200 million was needed to ensure the Police Scotland estate complied with building standards and fire regulations, but only £4 million had been allocated for this year.

Mr Malcolm said the “crumbling” estate and the state of the force’s vehicles was starting to damage officers’ ability to respond to call-outs.

“The choice to attend is often hampered by the number of available vehicles as the rest are often being repaired,” he explained.

There are times when officers are finding only two serviceable vehicles out of ten.

An interview room floor within Falkirk Police Station

“As a result of many police stations closing officers are having to travel greater distances than ever before but instead of replacing vehicles the force is paying high repair costs.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “While the allocation of resources is for the Chief Constable and SPA to determine, we are providing £1.2 billion funding for policing this year.

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Divisional Commander for Forth Valley said: “The issues that have been highlighted in Falkirk and Grangemouth Police Stations, whilst not ideal, do not affect service delivery to the public.

“I can confirm that improvement works are ongoing and I remain committed to ensuring that our estate is safe for our staff and we continue to work closely with our colleagues from the Scottish Police Federation, health and safety and estates management to rectify any current issues. While we are working to resolve issues as they arise, it is important to recognise that Police Scotland are committed to investing into areas in order to deliver an Estates Strategy that is fit for purpose, efficient and sustainable.”