By Bill Heaney
There are fewer police officers around in West Dunbartonshire and South Argyll.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur has warned that communities are feeling the inevitable consequence of SNP cuts as figures published today revealed that Police Scotland has lost 479 FTE officers in the last year.
Police Officer Quarterly Strength statistics published today show:
- There were 16,805 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 31 March 2022
- Police officer numbers decreased by 312 FTE officers (-1.8%) in the last quarter from 31 December 2021
- Police officer numbers decreased by 479 FTE officers (-2.8%) in the last year from 31 March 2021
Figures published on 21st April showed that there were 9,842 recorded cases of violent crime in 2021-22, the highest level in more than a decade.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: “On Nicola Sturgeon’s watch, violent crime is on the rise yet the SNP are presiding over a decline in officer numbers. There are now fewer than at any time since 2008.
“Police officers and staff work tirelessly in a stressful job to keep our communities safe.
“They are being hampered by a lack of resources, the loss of valuable civilian expertise, a lack of mental health support and outdated IT systems.
“The Justice Secretary needs to set out a new plan of action for reducing violent crime and making sure that Police Scotland has the staff and equipment it needs to make that happen.”
Police officers on community patrol duty at Luss Highland Games. Picture by Bill Heaney