Callers hang up on cop calls as they fail to find assistance

Councillor Alison Johnstone
Councillor Alison Johnstone

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, has expressed alarm at figures announced, showing dozens of calls to the Bilston Glen service centre are abandoned every week as people give up waiting for assistance.

Ms Johnstone previously warned that the control room would be adversely affected by mergers that now see it also handling calls from Fife, with this situation replicated nationally, as 11 control centres were reduced to four.

Bilston Glen service centre handles all calls from the Linlithgow, Bo’ness and Queensferry areas.

Police Scotland cite staff illness and problems with recruitment as the reason for emergency calls taking up to three minutes to answer, with non-emergency calls unanswered for as long as 11 minutes.

Alison Johnstone MSP said: “Scottish Greens campaigned strongly against the merger of Scotland’s police forces and fire brigades, warning of the implications for local jobs and accountability.

‘‘The call centre mergers were a terrible blow for the highly skilled staff and I share the deep concern of many of my constituents who now worry about the ability of the police to provide the support that their communities require.”