Police Urged To Publish Staff Survey Results
23 August 2015, 11:19
Police Scotland is facing a demand to publish the results of a major staff survey carried out earlier this year.
Scottish Labour, which made the call, criticised the force for failing to reveal the findings of the study - two months after the exercise closed.
The party said full transparency was needed to help address ''the big problems'' faced by officers and staff.
Police Scotland, which came into being in April 2013 following the merger of the country's eight forces, has been hit by various controversies in recent months over issues such as its stop and search tactics.
It also came under fire following the M9 collision in July in which Lamara Bell, 25, and John Yuill, 28, died. The couple spent three days in their crashed car after a call to police was not properly logged.
Scottish Labour has claimed the M9 case exposed the impact of cuts to civilian staff made by the Scottish Government and Chief Constable Sir Stephen House.
The party's justice spokesman Graeme Pearson, a former deputy chief constable, said: ''We know that rank and file officers are under huge pressure because of the decisions taken by Government ministers and the leadership of Police Scotland.
''They are doing their best in very difficult circumstances. Cuts to civilian staff numbers and budgets mean officers and civilian staff are doing more with less. That's unsustainable.
''No matter how many joint statements the leadership of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland issue, the big problems faced by officers and civilian staff can't be swept under the carpet.
''If the chief constable and SNP Justice Minister Michael Matheson really value the opinions of officers and civilian staff then they would publish the results of this staff survey without delay. The fact that it has taken so long to make the views of police officers known isn't acceptable.
''We need full transparency from the SNP Government and Police Scotland. Only by being honest about the problems in our police service can we hope to be able to reform it.''
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: ''The joint SPA/Police Scotland officer and staff engagement survey closed at the end of June. The results are currently being analysed by an independent organisation and, as planned, the results will be published as soon as possible.
''The engagement survey generated a high percentage of responses from both officers and staff. The survey is the largest of its kind and the first since Police Scotland began. We look forward to working with all our employees as we go forward taking into account any changes which may be needed.''
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ``The staff survey is a matter for Police Scotland, who are accountable to the SPA, not ministers.
''It is a long-standing principle of fundamental importance in Scotland that the police operate without political interference and is one which was backed in the Scottish Parliament across party lines along with the creation of the single service itself.''