Petty crime figures soar as local police numbers drop under SNP, says Baillie
Thin on the ground – police officers patrolling Luss Highland Games on Loch Lomondside. Picture by Bill Heaney
More than 200 police officers across Scotland have been removed from local divisions and moved into central police functions, according to new figures. Since 2013, local policing divisions have lost 326 officers with L division, which covers Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, losing two per cent of their local police.
At the same time the numbers of regional and national police have increased showing that police officers are being taken away from their local duties and being put into centralised roles. This ultimately leads to less police on our streets.
Petty crime is soaring with shoplifting, for example, leaping by 70 per cent in High Street shops in Dumbarton.
L division, which has its under-threat headquarters at Crosslet on the A82, now has just 559 police officers to cover the whole of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire.
The MSP said: “Our police do an excellent job of keeping us safe but the reduction in their numbers mean that there simply aren’t enough police on our streets. Police officers are being forced to staff desks rather than being out in the community.
“The SNP Government has said continuously that police numbers are on the increase, but these figures show that they simply aren’t being seen in our communities where they are needed.
“It is time this government got a grip of policing, support our local officers and our local divisions with proper resourcing so that we can have the police on our streets that communities are crying out for.”