Commenting as police officer numbers fall below the mandatory minimum previously set by the SNP Government, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
"For years the SNP Government lauded this figure while ignoring the fact that 2,000 skilled civilian staff had been lost. It masked the real pressures within the national force. Police officers were routinely backfilling, covering jobs they weren't trained to do in settings such as 999 control rooms, a practice we know caused real harm.
"The SNP Government showed a real lack of leadership in failing to own up to the fact that this target has had been dropped. There was no clear announcement that this flagship policy, trumpeted for a decade, had gone.
"Police officers, staff and the public need to know where they stand."