Call centre petition launched

A former police call worker is urging folk to get behind a campaign to save police, fire and non emergency service centres north of Dundee.

Jody Curtis, says it is imperative the public sign the petition, following the announcement the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is to close its control rooms in Inverness and Aberdeen.

Former police call centre worker Jody Curtis.
Former police call centre worker Jody Curtis.

Police control rooms in Aberdeen are also to close, and the Inverness control room will be replaced by a new hub – for the command and control of major incidents and national events across the country.

Ms Curtis is calling on the Scottish parliament for an inquiry into the closures and nearly 1,200 signatures have been collected so far.

In particular, she said concerns have been raised over public safety, the loss of public knowledge and officers being off the street. Officers will also be overwhelmed in managing the increased workload, she said.

Ms Curtis used to work on the 101 non emergency service in Aberdeen and claims local knowledge is vital to keeping the public safe and getting police officers or fire crews where they need to be as quickly as possible.

Local dialect and pronunciation of locations could also cause problems, Ms Curtis said, and in her opinion the Scottish Police Authority are putting cost-cutting before public safety.

“It’s [the petition] not just for people in Aberdeen it’s for everybody north of Dundee,” she said.  “We need thousands and thousands of signatures for this to be credible or for it to be taken seriously.”

The online petition is available at

Those who do not have access to a computer can still send in signatures as part of the petition – stating their name and the area they live.  The online petition closes on 22nd March.

Meanwhile Shetland MSP Tavish Scott is demanding a meeting with fire board chiefs over the proposal to close the fire control room in Inverness.

He and Shetland Islands Council convenor Malcolm Bell have argued for the Inverness control room needs to be kept.

Mr Scott and the SIC are also warning that the loss of an invaluable wealth of experience and local knowledge will put lives at risk.

Mr Scott said: “I oppose this latest SNP centralisation. The Highlands and Islands and the north of the country are now to be covered entirely by the central belt.

“It is exactly what I warned would happen with a single service based on the warnings of numerous fire fighters who told me that this was bound to be the case.

“Thus far all the arguments used to justify the closures have lacked conviction and bear the hallmarks of being rushed and ill-considered.

“I look forward to the opportunity to meet fire board chiefs to understand how these bad and wrong closure plans will mean better emergency service cover in Shetland and across the entire north of Scotland.

“They must accept that the risk of a fire engine being sent to the wrong place rises with the closure of the Inverness control room.

“The logic of the Scottish government’s position is that Scotland will end up with one control room for all the blue light emergency services.”

“It is time for Shetland to look afresh at joining up these essential services in the islands – that would be a better than the remorseless removal of powers that we get from the Scottish government.”


Add Your Comment
  • Jonathan Wills

    • February 25th, 2014 19:11

    Tavish Scott is quite right about this and deserves community support. A single control room for all of Shetland’s emergency services looks by far the best way to co-ordinate call-outs and avoid possibly tragic consequences from misunderstandings, delays and confusion that can result from remote central control. There are indeed financial benefits from centralisation but this is about public safety and that must be any government’s first priority.

  • Christopher Ritch

    • February 27th, 2014 22:14

    So… there are financial benefits benefits to be gained from centralisation, but sometimes some things are more important than financial savings and centralisation is not always the best idea. Hmmm. I agree with you Jonathan.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.