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Reform of the Police and Fire and Rescue Services
Kenny MacAskill (Scottish National Party)
We do not support the proposed elected commissioners, which all ranks of the police service uniformly oppose. We do not seek to replicate that proposal.
That said, I welcome and agree with John Lamont's point that the nub of the debate on the police is accountability and fears of centralisation. How do we ensure that areas do not lose services? How do we prevent power from going to the centre and retain it at the grass roots? The deputy chief constable whom I mentioned has contributed significantly to the debate. As has been mentioned, opportunities exist in relation to
John Lamont is correct to flag up that the issue is accountability. We accept that there is a strong case for one force and that the understandable doubts that remain will have to be overcome. We know that legitimacy would otherwise be given to other options.