The first tri-emergency service station in Scotland has opened, designed to strengthen links with the community, where they have been strained in the past.

Until January, Tomintoul and the surrounding areas were policed by officers based at Rothes, 26 miles away.

The new facility will provide a base for Police Scotland to operate from with facilities for the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

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It has been built as an extension to the Tomintoul Fire Station and it is anticipated that the centre will help all three emergency services to work together more effectively.

Police Scotland's PC Andy Main will be based at the unit providing a link to the community.

In October 2010 Mandy Mathieson, 33, died from a heart attack just 800 yards from the ambulance station.

The station had received an emergency call, but the technician on duty, a trainee, was on a rest break and did not respond.

Another ambulance was sent from Grantown-on-Spey, arriving in 21 minutes, followed by an air ambulance eight minutes later, but could not save Ms Mathieson.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said: "The foundations of Police Scotland are built on strong local policing which serves the public and is connected to communities across the country, from the most urban of environments to the most rural."

He said maintaining a visible local policing presence in communities across Aber-deenshire and Moray Division was critical to keeping people safe. "Where we can, we want to work closely with our emergency service partners," he said.