Warning over fire station closures and engine breakdowns amid £400m repairs backlog
Scotland’s fire service faces shutting down vital stations – or sharing premises with Police Scotland – as part of efforts to bridge a £400 million repairs backlog branded “insurmountable” by financial watchdogs. A new report warns fire engines are at risk of breaking down unless they receive tens of millions of pounds worth of investment over the next 10 years. But Audit Scotland said it was “unlikely” enough cash would be available, with £37.8m needed just to prevent further deterioration.
Fire service needs £389m cash boost
Scotland’s fire service needs an extra £389 million to plug a hole in its finances or will risk engines breaking down and stations falling into disrepair, according to a spending watchdog. Audit Scotland said the funding backlog facing the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was “insurmountable” without further transformation and investment. The warning follows another report this week which said that dated IT equipment was jeopardising police efforts to tackle cybercrime. Police Scotland says it needs £200 million to bring its IT up to date.
Police Scotland IT infrastructure in urgent need of overhaul
Police Scotland’s computer system is in urgent need of being updated, according to a report from the force’s deputy chief officer, The Scotsman reports. The single force needs more than £200 million to carry out the modernisations — which have been delayed for years. Criminal gangs are adding pressure to the current IT system by investing in their own computer systems. The £46m i6 project was shelved in 2016 after a number of bugs were discovered. It was intended to unify the 100 existing systems which belonged to Scotland’s legacy forces.
Outdated IT hampering fight against cybercrime, say Police Scotland
Police Scotland has set out plans to invest around £200 million in new technology after admitting that outdated IT systems will leave the force struggling to tackle cyber crime and could affect its ability to attract new recruits. A report due to be presented to the Scottish Police Authority on Friday underlines the urgent need for improvement, stating that “current technology capability will continue to fall short in giving our officers and staff the tools they need to do the job to best serve our communities”.
Crime? Most people never experience it, says justice minister
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson was ridiculed last night for claiming most Scots have no experience of crime and believe police are doing a ‘good or excellent job’. The minister was accused of being out of touch with ‘real people’ when he made the comments at a police conference.
Cops deploy cut-out police officer in response to complaints over speeding drivers
A cut-out police officer deployed to stop drivers speeding in a residential street isn’t pulling his weight, according to locals. Neighbours in Edinburgh’s Eglinton Crescent complained about motorists regularly breaching the 20mph limit. As a result, “pop-up Bob” – a pretend officer holding a speed gun –was sent in. Some residents said the prop worked for a few days until drivers caught on. Others said motorists simply laugh at Bob and keep speeding.
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