Call to recruit more north-east police officers amid concerns over the NHS crisis ..UK News

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Grampian Online - msp douglas lumsden has urged the scottish government to recruit more north east police officers over concerns that their .. Call to recruit more north-east police officers amid concerns over the NHS crisis , Now to the details.

MSP Douglas Lumsden has urged the Scottish Government to recruit more north-east police officers over concerns that their time is increasingly taken up looking after people in need of hospital care due to the NHS crisis.

MSP Douglas Lumsden

At portfolio questions in Holyrood, the north-east MSP warned officers across the region were becoming the “first and last resort” for issues such as mental health and addiction as a result of hospitals and treatment services being full.

The warning comes just days after it was revealed patients are having to wait eight hours in the back of ambulances to be seen at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Mr Lumsden referenced concerns from former north-east Superintendent Murray Main who said officers are having to deal with situations that they’re “less equipped” and “not as well trained” to deal with due to shortages in the NHS.

Latest statistics show the north-east has almost 20 fewer officers on the streets since the SNP merged the force into Police Scotland in 2013.

In his question to justice secretary Keith Brown, Mr Lumsden said: “Earlier this year, Superintendent Murray Main retired from Police Scotland and called on health and wellbeing services to ‘step forward’ and ease the strain on north-east police officers whose time is considerably taken up by mental health concerns.

“He said officers are responding to situations that they’re ‘less equipped’ and ‘not as well trained’ to deal with.

“Due to the NHS crisis, the police in the north-east are now the first and last resort for people with mental health, addiction issues and in need of hospital care. “Cabinet Secretary, is it any wonder that there are 884 less police officers than there was a decade ago? “When will this devolved government start listening to our police force and have the proper support structures in place so our officers can get back to policing?” In his response, Mr Brown said officers are already properly compensated for the work they do. He said: “I don’t deny the pressures of Covid, Cop26 and the Royal Funeral which have brought on the police but they do a tremendous job and are properly compensated and remunerated in Scotland.” Mr Lumsden later said: “The justice secretary’s response will be a kick in the teeth to our hardworking officers who are under more pressure than ever before dealing with issues that are stopping them from policing our streets. “Police in the north-east are being asked to do their job with one hand behind their back by the SNP Government which is failing to provide enough support resulting in morale being low and officers retiring early. “Pressures like these will only mean more dangerous criminals getting away with serious offences because there are fewer and fewer officers who are able to protect our communities. “These concerns from the force should act as an urgent wake-up call for SNP ministers, who have failed to fully fund our police service or support our fantastic police officers.” Call to recruit more north-east police officers amid concerns over the NHS crisis

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