By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie has warned that the SNP Government need to make police a priority as the latest figures show the number of officers falling by almost 500 year on year.
Quarterly statistics were released this week outlining that numbers decreased by 2.8 percent from the end of 2021 to December 2022.
The latest crime figures showed that, in West Dunbartonshire, non-sexual crimes of violence have risen by 31 percent while in Argyll and Bute, they increased by 21 percent in the last year alone.
Sexual crimes have also increased by 25 percent in Argyll and Bute and 21 percent in West Dunbartonshire respectively since 2018.
Fraud has also risen excessively by 149 percent in West Dunbartonshire over the same period.
Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie, left, said: “These stark figures reveal just how ineffectual the SNP’s alleged commitment to policing is.
“Police numbers have fallen compared to where they were last year, and with retirement rules already causing an exodus from the force, those numbers are sure to get much worse before we see any improvement – putting people in our communities at risk.
“All of this comes against a backdrop of savage cuts to our justice system, which is failing victims -many of whom are still waiting for justice to be served following huge court delays due to the pandemic.
“There have also been notable rises in some serious offences in communities across Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, which is worrying.
“Our local police work very hard to protect us but they need more resources to do so. The SNP must make police workforce planning a priority and ensure communities are not at risk of greater harm due to this government’s inaction.”
- there were 16,644 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 31 December 2022
- police officer numbers decreased by 473 FTE officers (-2.8%) in the last year from 31 December 2021