Having recently left the police after 10 years service, and knowing first hand the demands and pressures Police Scotland face, I am astonished that Midlothian Council has decided to withdraw their funding for the Police Community Action Teams (CAT).
The CAT teams (14 police officers in total) undertake a very important role in our communities tackling antisocial behaviour and improving community safety.
Their presence also give our communities confidence that the council and police can work together effectively to enforce such things as local byelaws (drinking in public etc) and tackle antisocial behaviour hotspots.
This Midlothian Council SNP/’Independent’ administration are of the opinion that to ask the police to deal with antisocial behaviour issues is an ‘out-dated approach at best’.
I would ask those elected council members to tell this to the VICTIMS of antisocial behaviour (crimes in most cases).
No one can deal with ASB more robustly and pro-actively than the police. What I find most disingenuous is the statement released by Midlothian Council advising us that the CAT team is being ‘re-designed’.
The current re-design taking place is the balance of deployment between community and response policing and has absolutely nothing to do with the CAT team.
Make no mistake, the withdrawal of funding will result in 14 less police officers deployable in Midlothian, irrespective of the ‘re-design’.
Police officers and police staff continue to do a fantastic job under challenging conditions and are a credit to our communities – keeping people safe.
I would urge Midlothian Council to reconsider their stance on the funding for our Community Action Teams.
Newbattle Abbey Crescent
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