Scotland can learn from teamwork here on Arran

Susan Deacon meets with island police officers and members of the Arran Mountain Rescue Team.

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Sub-heading: Says police board chief Susan Deacon

By Hugh Boag

The chairwoman of the Scottish Police Authority, Susan Deacon CBE, says the police force across Scotland can learn from the cooperation between the emergency services that exists on Arran.

The police board chief spent last weekend on Arran during which time she met with divisional and local police officers and partners, including the HM Coastguard and Arran Mountain Rescue Team. She also attended the Heather Queen gala in Lamlash on Saturday where she met some local representatives from local organisations to informally to hear their feedback about policing on the island.

Mrs Deacon, a former leading Scottish politician, told the Banner: ‘I visit different parts of the country and hear at first hand how diverse Scotland is, even on different Scottish islands. On Arran I have been struck by the strong sense of community which is reflected in how well the police and the other services work together. It is also an exemplar for the significant contribution volunteers make in the delivery of these services.

‘The rich mix of a dedicated police service working together with a really, really strong volunteer base in the community and the strong liaison between Coastguard, mountain rescue team and the fire and rescue service I met at the Heather Queen event is to be commended.

‘Each and all give enthusiasm and commitment to their work. The summer offices, who all come from urban beats, have to adapt to the Arran environment and experience the unique challenges of rural policing. They say they are really benefiting and enjoying the experience.’

Her praise for Arran comes 18 months after she took up one of the toughest jobs in policing to oversee the work of a troubled joint Police Scotland force.

She told the Banner she believed that Police Scotland now had a ‘stronger and more stable leadership’ and that gave her, and he board colleagues, more chance to get out see more of the policing of Scotland at first hand.

Mrs Deacon said she believed Police Scotland had been a success in bringing all of the divergent police resources together across the country. But she added: ‘Specialist services are available to all at a national level at the same time it is important that, as on Arran, that policing is delivered locally and effectively.’

Note: can you put this in a wee box

Always contact the police

Police on Arran this week reminded the public to contact the police on the non-emergency 101 number if they are aware of an ongoing incident or by calling 999 in the case of an emergency. This number can be used to directly contact Lamlash police office.

It follows a recent incident which saw a number of posts on social media regarding a relatively minor ongoing matter, without any recourse to the police.


Police board chief Susan Deacon with Arran officers and members of the Arran Mountain Rescue Team after a tour of their Cladach headquarters. 01_B29deacon01

Susan shares a joke with rescue team leader Alan McNicol. 01_B29deacon02