Police Scotland officer hit 14 yr low

POLICE numbers in Scotland have fallen under 17,000 for the primary time since 2008, based on the newest figures from the federal government. 

The quarterly power statistics printed on Tuesday revealed there have been 16,805 full-time equal law enforcement officials in Scotland on 31 March 2022, down by 312 since 31 December 2021.

The official figures embody all law enforcement officials together with probationers endeavor Scottish Police College coaching.

In 2007, the then SNP chief Alex Salmond set out plans for 1,000 further officers and promised to take care of the additional police quantity within the 2011 election.

That dedication meant that when Police Scotland was fashioned in 2013 there might by no means be lower than 17,234 law enforcement officials.

The final time numbers have been under 17,000 was within the final quarter of 2008 when there have been 16,675 officers. 

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur cautioned that the autumn in police numbers was taking place as violent crime spiked.

Figures launched final month confirmed violent crime was additionally at its highest for a decade at 9,842 recorded offences, a 12 per cent rise on the earlier yr.

It was the best determine since 2010/11, when 11,437 such crimes have been recorded.

For non-sexual violent crime, though murders and robberies have been down year-on-year, there have been will increase in tried homicide and critical assault and home abuse.

However, the primary driver was a 37% bounce in “other violence”, which incorporates threats and extortion, together with cyber-crimes, in addition to cruelty to kids and abductions.

Mr McArthur stated: “On Nicola Sturgeon’s watch violent crime is on the rise but the SNP are presiding over a decline in officer numbers. There at the moment are fewer than at any time since 2008.

“Police officers and employees work tirelessly in a aggravating job to maintain our communities protected.

“They are being hampered by a lack of resources, the loss of valuable civilian expertise, a lack of mental well being assist and outdated IT programs.

“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.”

The Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Jamie Greene described the drop as “shocking.”

He stated: “This constant neglect of our police service has undoubtedly made our streets much less protected, and now violent crime is at its highest in a decade.

“We already know that native authorities have been pressured to chop officer numbers on account of SNP funding cuts, whereas the SNP’s centralisation of the police has meant patrols are much less noticeable for the reason that forces have been merged.

“There has additionally been a minimize of greater than 900 officers to native police divisions since 2013, and when our police tried to safe the funding essential to deal with crime, the SNP as an alternative handed them a real-terms minimize to their capital finances.”

In February, Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone warned the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) that there may very well be a fall in numbers due to “natural retirements and attrition” and an extended than traditional hole between intakes of latest recruits due to COP26.

He informed the SPA: “These necessary and important measures for coronavirus and the impact that was previously outlined of Cop26 on recruitment and training and availability of training facilities means there has been a longer period between intakes than would normally be the case.

“Inevitably this has implications on officer numbers over this Covid and Cop26 period.

“We are required to report officers numbers on a quarterly basis and in December of 2021, full-time equivalent number of officers was 17,117, now that is some 115 officers fewer than when we reported in the previous quarter of September 2021.

“With natural retirements and attrition, our overall number of officers will indeed reduce further when the statistics are next reported in April and I think it’s important that I am very clear on this matter.”

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