Police worker 'turned down job due to lack of suitable housing'

The staff member was forced to turn down the role in Lerwick four weeks after accepting the job.

Lack of housing in Lerwick on Shetland saw police employee unable to take up job, council hears iStock

A meeting has heard that a police worker who had accepted a job offer in Lerwick ended up turning it down because they could not find suitable accommodation.

Area commander Stuart Clemenson said the staff member had been lined up to take on a job in the Lerwick Police Station office.

He told a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Tuesday that the employee already worked for the police in East Kilbride and “ticked all the boxes”.

But four weeks after accepting the job offer, she had to turn it down after failing to find suitable accommodation.

The availability of housing in Shetland has previously been an issue for people coming to the isles for jobs.

The issue is often highlighted by the number of people who take to social media requesting somewhere to rent when they have work lined up.

The situation with the police employee was highlighted during discussions over the opening hours of the Lerwick Police Station front door.

Board chairman Allison Duncan described it as a “detrimental situation” that people could not come to the station 24/7.

Mr Clemenson said there had been a national review of opening hours and this resulted in the decision to reduce availability.

Currently, the opening hours at Lerwick Police Station are 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.

However Mr Clemenson said there are a few people who come to the front door, with those who do are mainly to hand over mail or paperwork.

Generally, however, the police chief said he was pleased with local staffing levels, with seven new officers recently heading north.

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