Responding to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s statement to the Parliament today on the Policing 2026 strategy, Scottish Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
“Officers and staff are doing an incredible job in keeping our communities safe but the loss of 2000 civilian posts as a result of the SNP’s botched centralisation and diktats continues to cause real harm. It is now clear this will take years to fix – time and resources the police could have used to better adapt to emerging threats such as cyber crime.
“It remains to be seen how many officers and staff there will be over the course of the next decade. Similarly, the Cabinet Secretary can’t say how many of the 800 new mental health staff to be installed in services across Scotland will be working alongside the police, despite mental health being one of the biggest challenges they face.
“As well as providing clarity on staffing, the Scottish Government must agree to inject accountability, democracy and openness back into the national force. Without this, it will be much harder for anyone to know how successful the 2026 strategy really is.”