Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grampian Police chief constable says Police are too busy 'monitoring' and dealing with 'terrorism' to investigate crimes

The North-east's top cop has warned the days of expecting an officer to answer every crime call are over.

Grampian Police's chief constable said that kind of thinking belonged in the 1960s.

Colin McKerracher, new president of the police chiefs' organisation Acpos, said reports about less serious crimes will be dealt with by call centres rather than face-to-face by officers.

He said: "We have to find new ways of meeting the public expectations and that is, in some people's minds, set back in the 1960s, when you phoned the police, you would likely get someone on your doorstep within 20 minutes, no matter what your complaint."

"But now, with the extra demands of sex offender monitoring and counter-terrorism, we do not have the capability to get officers onto people's doorsteps in the same time we used to."

The chairman of Holyrood justice committee Bill Aitken said there the remarks were "very concerning" and he wants Mr McKerracher to face questions by MSPs.

Bob Gibb, a member of Torry Community Council, said: "I find this disappointing. You can't lose the police on the street, it makes such a big difference.

"You have to tackle the minor crimes, because otherwise it develops into bigger crimes."

"Call centres are no help at all for this."

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