RIGA - Police officers from Latvia, Poland and other East European countries may soon start patrolling streets in Scotland, as the Scottish association of police chiefs is planning an extensive recruitment campaign in new EU member states due to expected shortages of staff. State Police representative Ieva Zvidre voiced concern that the recruitment campaign could have a negative impact on the Latvian police, which is also facing a shortage of employees.
Moreover, it would most likely be the best Latvian officers lured to work in Scotland, the representative said, and the state would lose the money spent on their training. "We would not have any reason to be happy about this," she said.
According to the Latvian daily Diena, the monthly salary of a police officer in Scotland is over 1,600 lats (2,275 euros).
The Latvian police trade union has already reported some 900 vacancies among the state police, and the shortage is expected to increase. "Is there anything excellent here? We have to risk our lives for 200 lats a month!" said trade union president Agris Suna, adding that many Latvian policemen, especially the young, might find the proposal to work in Scotland quite attractive.
Scotland's law enforcement authorities are mulling recruitment campaigns abroad as a record number of Scottish policemen are expected to retire in the near future. Authorities are planning a 50,000 pound advertising campaign on television to avoid staff shortages.