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Job cuts lead to security fears as staff morale in Dunfermline hits ‘rock bottom’

job cuts are leading to safety fears
job cuts are leading to safety fears

There are growing fears CCTV monitoring jobs cuts in Dunfermline could impact on railway passenger safety.

A £1.4 million upgrade to the ScotRail Alliance CCTV coverage will see a reduced staffing need.

That means 15 specialist staff at the Dunfermline operation, which monitors the East Coast lines, will be hit.

However, when local MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville voiced her fears, saying jobs were on the line which were vital to security at stations and platforms, it was dismissed as “ridiculous scaremongering”.

A spokesperson said CCTV coverage had never been better.

Now a whistleblower has questioned that assertion.

He asked why, if indeed CCTV coverage had never been better, 16 stations on the east coast and down as far as the Borders were no longer allocated a CCTV operator to staff the desk.

This, he said, was down to Abellio terminating the temporary contracts of the three people employed in that specific role.

He also wondered how a new high tech system would spot – as a human operator would – someone behaving erratically or who is upset or is being aggressive.

“Maybe THIS is just ridiculous scaremongering,” he added.

The Fife centre at Dunfermline would be reduced by nearly 50% in real terms, and while staff have been told there will be no compulsory redundancies, they have been left in limbo.

“Staff have been promised relocation but no one knows where yet and there is a package on offer for people who wish to leave,” the whistleblower said.

“Morale is at rock bottom, and anyone speaking on behalf of Abellio who denies this is living in an alternative reality, quite frankly,” he added.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesperson said: “The safety of our staff and customers is our number one priority.

“That’s why we’ve invested £1.4m upgrading and improving our CCTV coverage, and that’s why coverage has never been better.

“But we need to make changes to how we operate, so that we can have the best safety regime possible in the future.

“We’re in discussions with our staff and unions about how that works. In those discussions, we’ve said that there will be no compulsory redundancies and that everyone who currently works there who wants a job will have one.”

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