I HAVE been reading with interest your coverage of the struggle for control of the new national force Police Scotland ("MSPs seek to end turf war over policing responsibility", The Herald, November 24), and Letters, November 26, 27 & 29).
Until this week, I thought I had fully understood the arguments and was in favour of the view that a Chief Constable should have control of all of the police service with the police authority being responsible for audit, regulation and accountability. However, after reading your recent article ("'Shambles' of new police force", The Herald, November 28) I have become confused. It would appear that the Chief Constable of the new force has agreed that the Scottish Police Services Authority will have responsibility for IT as matters progress.
Surely, IT is an integral part of any organisation's service delivery and thus underpins its performance. Therefore, the argument that the police authority cannot hold the Chief Constable to account if it controls key elements of service delivery can be undermined by this decision and, in accepting this responsibility, the authority's role as an oversight body becomes confused and diminished.
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Unlike Supt Niven Rennie, who appears to hold a welter of additional police responsibilities, I have no vested interest in the formation or deployment of the new single police force (Letters , November 29). My comments on the demerits of a single force have never deviated, unlike the shifting stance of some police representative bodies.
Supt Rennie suggests that "hopefully, under the scrutiny of the Justice Committee sense will prevail". Surely, in this in-house spat it is the duty of Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, not the Justice Committee, to take the initiative and affirm the prescribed duties of Stephen House of the SPS and Vic Emery of the SPSA. Otherwise, public confidence in the Government's handling of this matter will be adversely affected.
Allan C Steele,
22 Forres Avenue,
AS a former member of the august body that Niven Rennie represents I can only express considerable despair at his comments in the first paragraph of his letter. People have a right to a reasoned opinion and an undeniable right to express it.
My views on a national police service are well known, but I have to accept that it will soon be upon us. That is democracy at work. However, if Supt Rennie is expressing the views of his membership, there might just be less of it about in the future.
31 Ardbeg Road,