Operational Difficulties in the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network (DUN.CA.N.)

Laurie Bidwell

12 June 2014

The revelations in the Courier on Wednesday 11 June  (link) about regular staff shortages in the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network (DUN.CA.N.) are very alarming.  


It is clear that chronic shortages of Police Scotland civilian staff have impacted negatively on the effectiveness of this service.


As a result, the 7x24 CCTV coverage in the city centre has been undermined. In addition, a lack of intelligence sharing was not just been a one off but a regular occurrence.


No wonder some of the city centre traders and businesses are questioning whether their subscriptions to DUN.CA.N is money well spent.


In the report to the Council's Policy and Resources Committee (Police, Fire and Community Safety) on Monday night we received a report about the Community Safety Hub and were asked to approve the inclusion of the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network as part of the Hub.


In that report from the Chief Executive there was no mention of these operational weaknesses caused by significant reductions in the complement of Police Scotland non-uniformed staff.


The report did draw attention to financial savings gained and operational improvements achieved in co-locating Police Scotland and Council staff concerned with community safety but contained no misgivings about cuts having gone too far.


That report now appears to have put an undeserved positive spin on things. 


Clearly the scale of the SNP government's imposed budget cuts on Policing are already having a very negative effect in our city centre streets and businesses.


These latest revelations demonstrate that the shedding of many non-uniformed Police staff by Police Scotland is undermining the effectiveness of policing of our city centre.


We can't allow this to continue or the positive achievements over a number of years will be lost. 


I have asked the Chief Executive to intervene with our partners in Police Scotland.


I have also sought reassurance from him that the Council's 'efficiency savings' that impact on the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network are not a contributory factor to the operational shortcomings that have been widely reported in the press.



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