DETECTIVES face a beat stretching 50 miles after police revamped the way they tackle serious crime in Lanarkshire.
The move involves closing CID rooms at several police stations, including Bellshill, and having detectives based at just four offices in the county.
Police bosses this week defended the new structure and insisted it will lead to a better service.
However, it’s understood there is some disquiet within police ranks and the move has taken local politicians by surprise.
It comes just weeks before Scotland’s eight police forces merge into one authority.
Until now Strathclyde officers in North Lanarkshire have worked separately from their colleagues in South Lanarkshire.
CID in the north of the county have been based at various offices including Bellshill.
Although Motherwell was the headquarters for the North Lanarkshire division, CID officers were moved from Motherwell to Wishaw some years ago.
Now there are just four bases for Lanarkshire detectives - Wishaw, Coatbridge, Hamilton and Cambuslang, and they must handle calls from places as far apart as Cumbernauld and Biggar.
Detective Chief Inspector Pat Campbell insisted there will be enough officers to cope with calls to different areas.
DCI Campbell said: “Of course there is a sense of urgency regarding CID turning up at crime scenes, but it’s not as great as it is for the uniformed response officers who tend to get there then request CID help.
“We have new units for sexual crime and domestic abuse, and the new structure gives us greater flexibililty.”
More on this story in the Motherwell Times and Bellshill Speaker, on sale now.