Three police stations earmarked for closure
Three isles police stations have been earmarked for closure as part of a review of the entire Police Scotland estate.
The axe is hanging over stations in Baltasound and Whalsay, while the small leased station at Sumburgh Airport also faces the chop.
Papers due to go before board members of the Scottish Police Authority in Inverness on Thursday recommend a three-month “public engagement” on 53 properties across the country.
The report describes Baltasound and Whalsay as empty stations only occasionally used by officers when on patrol, for example, during refreshment breaks.
The unit in Sumburgh, which was opened seven years ago following the closure of the old station at Dunrossness, is described as being used infrequently. The report states that it is “no longer an operational requirement to retain this station”.
All of the properties on the list are said to be surplus to requirements, with most of them no longer performing an active policing purpose.
The review has been carried out as part of the Police Scotland Estate Strategy, which was approved by the SPA in 2015. It is described by the police as a “foundation document” which underpins Policing 2026, a long-term policing strategy developed.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cowie said: “Police Scotland inherited a large estate which was based on legacy arrangements.
“This estate was developed over a significant period of time when demands on policing were very different from current and anticipated future demands.
“As Policing 2026 has demonstrated, the demands facing policing and the public expectation of policing in Scotland has evolvd over time and will continue to evolve. However, the estate, which is crucial to the delivery of policing services, has not evolved and has largely remained as is.”
A final decision on whether the stations will be closed will be made after feedback from the consultation process is brought back to the police authority.