POLICE in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire are having to endure some of the worst working conditions in Scotland, according to the body representing rank-and-file officers.

Among the shocking revelations published by the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) is how officers in the area’s “offender management unit”, which includes monitoring more than 100 sex offenders, have only one dedicated vehicle.

The SPF report reveals significant concern at the lengthy journeys faced by officers who have to transport people under arrest to the police station in Clydebank to be interviewed.

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It also highlights the poor condition of several of the area’s police stations, and recommends that offices in Oban and Lochgilphead should be closed immediately on safety grounds – while the condition of police residential accommodation in Dunoon is described in the report as “difficult to convey in words” and akin to that provided by “slum landlords”.

Other concerns raised in the report include the refusal of requests for annual leave during the summer months, a lack of vehicles in rural areas, the raising of one of the highest numbers of grievances in any policing area in the west of Scotland, and the failure of recent recruitment drives in rural areas.

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The interim SPF report, which was compiled following a “deep dive” inspection of the police estate across L Division last month, also states: “Police officers across L Division are personally motivated to deliver the best policing service they can to the public. This personal motivation is tested daily by the frustration that officers are denied the most basic of tools to deliver that service effectively.

“Officers often feel that they are letting the public down and, despite their individual efforts, they routinely have to apologise for shortcomings in service.

“In addition, officers working in the more landward areas feel they are out of sight and out of mind. There is an unwillingness to provide much-needed support from divisional resources due to distance and lack of ability to incur overtime.”

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The report concludes: “The sense of helplessness and a resignation that things simply will not get any better is a matter of the gravest concern. The division has been sorely neglected, and... the impact on the police officers working there has been stark. We are particularly concerned that years of organisational intransigence have helped create a self-generating general managerial malaise.”

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “Work was undertaken immediately to remedy a number of concerns raised by the SPF last week, as the safety and wellbeing of our staff is a priority.”