Poor conditions at Police Scotland’s “crumbling” estate and fleet across the country has been highlighted by the Scottish Police Federation’s area chairmen.
Gordon Forsyth, chair for the North Area Committee, said: “Throughout the north area, officer’s daily tasks are being made more difficult due to the condition of the buildings and the vehicles they have to utilise.
“What appears to be simple repairs are being left to deteriorate due to the lack of funding the estates budget.
“Officers using damaged chairs or having torn carpets in their officers again appears to have a simple fix, but divisions are being severely constrained by their budgets.
“Parts of the fleet are ageing and vehicles are expected to be on the road far longer than they ever used to be.
“It is not that long ago that it would have been difficult to find a police vehicle in the north of Scotland with more than 100,000 miles on the clock. The surprise is now to find a vehicle with under 100,000 miles.
“As a result there are numerous vehicles where the officers have to deal with damaged seats making it difficult to adjust or simply the perception the public have seeing them driving about in rusting vans which makes them look unroadworthy.
“The mechanical demands placed upon standard specification family type cars in the policing environment is purely the reason why we see so many of them having to be recovered from the side of the road.
“The time the vehicles spend off the road being repaired and maintained is time that officers aren’t as visible in their communities as they should be.
Mr Forsyth added: “We work closely with the divisional command teams and they have all been working hard to manage the buildings in the north area.
“The replacement of the Peterhead station is an example of some progress in that area. While the working conditions in the Peterhead police station are far from ideal, the knowledge that a new station is on the near horizon is making the current conditions more manageable for the officers working there at this time.”