Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today described police finances as “calamitous” after a damning new report from Audit Scotland found the national force continues to suffer from “weak financial leadership and considerable budget pressures”
The report, published just 2 hours before Parliament rises for the end of the year, confirms the police faces a cumulative funding gap of almost £190 million by 2020/21.
In the report the Auditor General described Police Scotland’s weak financial leadership as “unacceptable” and said that “substantial improvement was necessary.” The report also said “little could be salvaged” from the failed i6 IT programme, revaluing the asset at £0.2 million, down from £19.3 million.
Mr McArthur said:
“This is the third consecutive year that auditors have highlighted the dire financial management by Police Scotland and the SPA. The Auditor General has also laid bare the size of the black hole in police funding.
“The First Minister has trotted out the same reassurances she has for the last three years, but these are ringing increasingly hollow. A funding gap of £190m is a calamitous position for our police force to be in. Little wonder we are seeing examples of officers buying equipment in charity shops and a crumbling police estate.
“The Scottish Government must ensure that Police Scotland has the resources it needs to do the difficult but vital job the public expects it to do.”