£115 million in overtime during five years of Police Scotland

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Liam McArthur MSP has today revealed that the national force has spent over £115 million on overtime payments since it was created 2013.

The new figures, obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through a freedom of information request, show that £115.43 million has been spent on overtime since Police Scotland was established in 2013. The figures are set to rise in the current year with Police Scotland attributing this to specific one off costs such as the terror threat level being raised to critical last year.

It comes after Scottish Liberal Democrats yesterday called for the national force to conduct an overdue service-wide survey to measure staff wellbeing and opinion on a range of topics such as whether they have sufficient resources.

Commenting on the new figures, Mr McArthur said:

“Police officers and staff work around the clock to keep us safe. All of us are grateful for the dangerous and difficult work that they do on our behalf. 

"These figures show the enormous overtime bill racked up since day one of Police Scotland.

"We know that officers and staff often feel up against it. The 2015 staff survey showed that they felt the service and its resources were stretched. That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for a repeat of that service-wide survey to find out what has, or hasn't, improved.

"We need a balanced workforce with fair and safe working conditions and the tools they need to do the job.

"Just this week the SPA draft budget revealed that the number of officers in Scotland is set to fall by 100, with hundreds more expected to go in the years ahead. It’s clear that SNP ministers have ditched the 1000 extra police officers policy that they boasted about for years but don't have the courage to tell anyone."

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