Police to seek disposal of unused properties

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Police Scotland is to seek permission from the Scottish Police Authority this week to begin a three-month public engagement exercise over the future of 53 properties which are no longer required.

All of the properties have been identified by local police commanders as surplus to requirements and almost all of them no longer perform an active policing purpose.

The properties have been selected following a detailed review of the entire Police Scotland estate, to identify what is required to provide the sustainable delivery of excellent policing across Scotland.

Of the 53 properties identified for potential disposal

• 43 of them are not used to permanently base Police Officers or Police Staff and are empty, some of them for a number of years.

• 10 of them are currently used as a base for Police Officers or Police Staff, however these staff can be relocated to other permanent facilities while still maintaining service delivery.

The review was part of the Police Scotland Estate Strategy, approved by the SPA in 2015. It is one of the foundation documents underpinning Policing 2026, our long term strategy for how we deliver policing for Scotland and was undertaken to ensure the estate is modern, flexible and fit for the future.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cowie, Strategic Lead for Estates Change, 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 evolved 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.

“The review of the Police Scotland estate was conducted to ensure that it is fit for purpose and reflects the changing nature of policing and can support service delivery to local communities. There are a large number of properties currently empty, or soon to become empty, however they still have associated running costs. Such a position does not provide best value or help achieve financial sustainability.

ACC Cowie continued: “In order to ensure that we develop policing models that support the needs of each community, we intend to carry out extensive discussion and engagement with our staff, local communities and partners.

“While we have identified a number of properties across Scotland that we consider no longer required to provide policing services and we are recommending that these properties be disposed of, no decision will be made on the future of any of our police stations until we have carried out this engagement process. Indeed, the final list of properties being considered for disposal may be amended as new needs or opportunities are discovered or offered during the engagement process. This engagement will also allow us to further raise awareness of the Community Empowerment Act and may provide opportunities for viable community groups.”

Further details about the engagement process will be shared if approval is given by the SPA Board.