U-turn on plans to move police HQ south of the Clyde

Jackie Baillie (right) and Gemma Doyle organised a petition signed by 1,500 local people
Jackie Baillie (right) and Gemma Doyle organised a petition signed by 1,500 local people

Plans to move key police offices from Dumbarton to Paisley have been reversed following a protest campaign.

The surprise announcement from Police Scotland announcement came today (Friday) – 24 hours after the General Election.

Labour MSP for the Dumbarton constituency Jackie Baillie, who led the campaign against the move, said she ‘very much welcomed’ the announcement.

“This is a victory for our campaign to retain local police services,” she said.

“It is clear that pressure from the local community has halted Police Scotland’s centralisation plans, but the devil will be in the detail and I look forward to engaging with the Chief Constable, Sir Stephen House to improve local policing.”

A police statement said the Dumbarton office would ‘remain as a key operational hub in West Dunbartonshire’.

Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent, Helen Swann, said: “Over the last few months we have been engaging with West Dunbartonshire Council and our partners and communities in considering these proposals.

“We have also been carrying out work to look in detail at the options regarding our buildings and where opportunities may lie for a better service to the public and greater efficiency.

“Following this work, we have decided to retain Dumbarton Police Office as a key operational policing hub and we will continue to work with West Dunbartonshire Council and other partners to look longer term at the options for maintaining and building on our service in the future.

“I would like to thank all of our partners and the members of the public who have taken the opportunity to feedback their views which have clearly demonstrated the strong public support for local policing in the area. These views are all being considered and we hope to reach a decision on the restructuring proposals shortly.”