McArthur: ‘Police officer numbers a routine pretence’


Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today branded SNP Ministers’ boasts of police officer numbers a “routine pretence”, following reports that their commitment to extra officers isn’t being delivered the majority of the time.

New quarterly statistics reveal that the total number of police officers at the end of September stood at 17,245 – 11 higher than ministers’ officer headcount target. However, it was recently reported that the SNP missed their target in ten of the thirteen weeks in the previous quarter, with the national force boosting officer numbers to meet this minimum in the lead up to the quarterly snapshot. 

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today branded SNP Ministers’ boasts of police officer numbers a “routine pretence”, following reports that their numbers dip between the quarterly snapshots.

New quarterly statistics reveal that the total number of police officers at the end of September stood at 17,245 – 11 higher than ministers’ longstanding officer headcount target. However, it was recently reported that the number fell below this level during ten of the thirteen weeks in the previous quarter, with the national force boosting officer numbers in the lead up to the quarterly snapshot. 

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

“It is time ministers admitted that the publication of officer number statistics is nothing more than a routine pretence.

“These figures have never taken account of the fact officers are being taken off the beat to do jobs they weren’t trained for, covering shifts previously done by the civilian staff let go from control rooms and elsewhere.

Now there is evidence that the SNP’s nine-year flagship officer threshold isn’t being met the majority of the time, with officer numbers spiking just in time for the quarterly snapshot.

“Police officers and staff work incredibly hard, day in day out, protecting our communities. However, we have seen reports that they have been forced to buy their own kit from charity shops, are driving cars held together with duct tape and have been told not to pursue drug dealers to avoid overtime pay.

“Instead of going through this statistical rigmarole, it is time that the SNP Government got on with supporting staff and officers to do their jobs to the best of their ability.”


Share this post on social media:

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.