Closing down police stations and other police buildings as well as co-locating with other partners form part of a new consultation exercise launched by Police Scotland. This is one element of the force’s estate strategy and is set out in the newly launched ‘national conversation’ about its estate.
Explaining the decision to dispose of around 60 buildings including 29 police stations, the force said that it had a large and ageing estate – including 306 police stations – much of which was not fit for purpose with high maintenance costs and ‘environmental inefficiencies.’
Police Scotland’s long term vision for its estate includes reducing its environmental impact across all its sites and ‘incorporating biodiversity initiatives covering strategic and operational processes.’
“Our estate needs to be fit for 21st century policing, putting service enhancement, visibility, and engagement at the heart of the communities we serve. These are core components of the legitimacy and consent on which policing in Scotland relies.
“Our presence in communities is not defined by buildings but by the officers and staff who work there, and we have already introduced technology that enables our officers to remain in local areas, reducing the need for them to return to police stations to deal with paperwork.”Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, Police Scotland.
The force said that the financial savings that would come from disposing of these buildings over the next three years would be re-invested elsewhere in Police Scotland and no decision had been made on what will happen to the buildings considered for disposal.
Local communities are being asked to take part in a consultation exercise that is open until the end of January 2024.