Ayrshire MSP Sharon Dowey has said that the SNP must fund Police Scotland properly as evidence reveals that police numbers have fallen by 46 in Ayrshire’s policing division.
This decrease has been experienced across Scotland, with police numbers falling by 650 since the SNP completed their police merger in 2013.
While Police Scotland requested a capital budget of £85.7 million for 2021-22 to increase recruitment and improve other issues, the SNP have attempted to fill the £30 million gap in funding with just £500,000.
Commenting, Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Sharon Dowey said:
“Ayrshire’s police officers have worked tirelessly over the course of the pandemic, going above and beyond to keep us safe. While our police officers work hard, they can’t be expected to pick up the workload of the 46 officers that are no longer in the force.
“Knowing that police presence reduces crime, you’d think that it would be a Scottish Government priority to increase the number of frontline officers. Instead, the SNP have presided over a decline of almost 50 officers in Ayrshire since 2013, putting the safety of our communities at risk.
“If the Scottish Government had been interested in improving local police forces, they would have funded Police Scotland properly to get more bobbies on the beat. Not only would this make communities in Ayrshire safer, it would also relieve the pressures on those already working for Police Scotland.
“The SNP must also deliver body-worn cameras to existing police officers which are necessary to keep frontline officers safe. Police Scotland asked for 10,000 of these and received just 311. This, alongside ageing police stations and police vehicles shows once again that police officers are the SNP’s last priority.
“Our police are overworked, overstretched, and underfunded, and it’s about time that the SNP recognise this and take action.”