POLICE civilian staff are demanding a period of stability ahead of next week's launch of the new single force.

It comes following the loss of 1000 civilian support staff jobs over the last year, with the final 130 lost last week, ahead of the radical changes to policing in Scotland, which will come into force on April 1.

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson, who has been taking a lead role in the creation of the new force, will represent Police Scotland at the meeting today.

It will be convened by civil servants rather than politicians but will include representatives of the new force from all ranks of the police service, civilian staff and the new oversight authority.

Civil servants will question all sides present so that they can assure ministers that everything is in readiness for the big change as of midnight on Sunday.

The public fall-out between new national Chief Constable Stephen House and Vic Emery, the head of the Scottish Police Authority, will not be on the agenda.

Chief Superintendent David O'Connor, president of the Association of Police Superintendents (ASPS), also said he was confident the launch of the new force should go smoothly.

He said: "The launch of the single Police Service of Scotland marks a major milestone in policing.

"A lot of hard work has been done by police officers and police staff to make this happen.

"The move to a single police service arose out of a financial necessity. The continuing challenging economic environment means it is all the more important police reform in Scotland continues to reduce the cost of policing. However, there must also be a commitment to improvements to keep people safe."

He paid tribute to all of those who had worked hard for the last 18 months to make the transition next week work, adding: "I would also like to thank the public for their support for policing in the past and to seek their continued support as we move forward into a new single police service for Scotland."

Mr O'Connor said that, with a change this big there would inevitably be some risks, but he said: "In the best traditions of policing where a problem is found, it will be addressed, people will adapt, be flexible and find a solution.

"ASPS is therefore very confident the new police service will work well, it will carry on providing the excellent policing Scotland has come to expect and it will work unceasingly to keep the people of Scotland safe."