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Police Scotland struggling to retain 999 call handlers

Staff have been drafted in from Dundee to help fill 23 vacancies in Aberdeen.

Call centre: Problems recruiting staff in Aberdeen (file pic).
Call centre: Problems recruiting staff in Aberdeen (file pic). STV

Police Scotland has struggled to retain 999 call handlers in Aberdeen since announcing plans to close its northern control rooms.

Staff have been drafted in from Dundee to help fill 23 vacancies in the city, a new report reveals.

By the end of the year, all 999 and 101 calls will be answered by staff in the central belt.

Police Scotland's Dundee call centre closed in June, to be followed by Inverness this month and Aberdeen in October.

The report also shows that there are 31 fewer staff working in the Aberdeen control room than there were before the introduction of the national force in April 2013.

It recently emerged that the number of police officers and firefighters in Scotland numbers is at a six-year low.

Chief superintendent Campbell Thomson said: "There have been a number of challenges relating to the recruitment and retention of police staff controllers.

"An external recruitment campaign in recent months has increased resource numbers in the service centre and it is important to note that these numbers represent an interim position.

"[They] do not include the fact that the Aberdeen service centre is regularly supported by the wider national public service centre operation, which was not the case when under the direction of Grampian Police."

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