Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today revealed that it will cost Police Scotland more than a quarter of a billion pounds to maintain the crumbling police estate over the next ten years.
In response to a freedom of information request to the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Police Scotland revealed that the projected cost of maintenance anticipated over the next decade was more than £260 million. This will be spent simply on maintaining an estate that many within the national force have described as not fit for purpose.
This bill comes as the service projects a deficit of nearly £50 million in its budget for the coming financial year, while a report from the Auditor General suggested that the cumulative deficits over the course of this parliament could be as high as £190 million.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“We’ve seen reports of police cars held together with duct tape, leaking interview rooms and officers searching charity shops for gear. Now this freedom of information request reveals that over the next ten years the cost of routine maintenance of the police estate will be more than a quarter of a billion pounds.
"That is a huge bill and it is what is required just to keep up, replacing outdated electrical equipment and buildings. It won't even begin to cover the new investment that is required to ensure officers and staff have the 21st century resources they need.
“Officers and staff do a fantastic job under very tough circumstances in keeping our communities safe but the SNP’s botched centralisation continues to undermine their efforts.
"Projected savings have not been realised while the failure of the i6 IT project continue to deprive frontline policing of resources.
"That is why Liberal Democrats have proposed extra investment in the police, dropping the VAT bill incurred through the SNP's centralisation and ending the public sector pay cap so staff and officers get the boost they deserve."