John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens' justice spokesperson, today commented on the findings of the HMICS report into Police Scotland Call Handling.

The review followed the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill on the M9.

John Finnie, Independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:

“This comprehensive report clearly lays out past and present challenges around the handling of calls. We welcome the recognition of the need for improvements and an assurance that 'staffing levels... are now stabilised'. However, Police Scotland must go further and ensure there is adequate resilience in their system of call-handling.

“It was our view that HMICS’ Interim Report evidenced the compelling need to retain the Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness centres and this final report simply reinforces that view. The Cabinet Secretary stated 'independent experts will be brought in to provide strong assurances before any decision is considered' to those three centres. I advised the Cabinet Secretary this sounded like a decision made.

“I sought an assurance today from the Cabinet Secretary that UNISON, who represent the majority of control room staff, would be at the forefront of meaningful consultation with nothing pre-determined, and whilst the Cabinet Secretary said he welcomed the role UNISON could play it was well short of the unequivocal yes I had hoped for."