Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today called for “fundamental reform” of Police Scotland as the national force launched a consultation on the strategy that will guide it through to the mid-2020s.
Mr McArthur said:
“This strategy represents an opportunity for the SNP Government to admit where they went wrong with centralisation and, after years of mismanagement, help get the police service back on even footing.
“We need fundamental reform of how our police service operates. But the Chief Constable will struggle to deliver this without clarity and support from the Scottish Government. That starts with SNP ministers being upfront about whether its 1,000 extra officers requirement is officially being been ditched.
“The SNP’s ill-informed diktats have caused real harm. Thousands of civilian staff have lost their jobs. Officers were doing roles they weren’t trained for and we will soon find out whether this contributed to the M9 tragedy.
"For the first time Police Scotland has admitted that 300 frontline officers have been taken off the streets to plug a gap in the SNP’s disastrous centralisation. It is going to take another four years to get them back out on the streets again.
“It is time our police service had the right people, in the right place, at the right time, enabling them to deal with incidents involving mental ill health to cyber crime. After years of SNP centralisation, we need to liberate Scotland’s public services and roll back the top-down culture that has distorted our police service.”