Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today revealed that Police Scotland are spending almost £1m per year on vehicle hire as he called for the Scottish Government to ensure that the national force has the resources it needs to tackle crime.
Information uncovered by the Scottish Liberal Democrats under freedom of information reveal:
• The number of vehicles hired per year has risen from 6,609 in 2015/16 to 10,833 in
• The most vehicle hires in a single month was 1,372 in May 2018;
• £2,772,063.86 has been spent on vehicle hire between 2015/16 and 2017/18.
Commenting on the information, Mr McArthur said:
"Auditors and staff at every level of the national force have raised concerns about the serious pressures on Police Scotland's budget.
"The SNP promised that their centralisation of the police would deliver savings. Instead, the national force has consistently recorded deficits in the tens of millions of pounds and this is projected to continue for years to come.
"Clearly there are times when Police Scotland will have specific operational demands that necessitate additional vehicles but it is the SNP Government's responsibility to ensure that they can afford the kit they need.
“There has been a 64% increase in the number of vehicles the police hire and this warrants an explanation.
"The public would not want to see a police force dependent on short term solutions in place of long term thinking."