Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today warned that Police Scotland’s budget woes are deepening after new figures revealed the national force expects to overspend its day-to-day policing budget by more than £27m this year, almost a third higher than what was predicted just two months ago.
Papers submitted by Police Scotland to the SPA board meeting today projected an overspend in the revenue budget of £27.1 million, up from the £21.2m projected in August.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have urged the Scottish Government to plug the hole in the police’s budget before officers and staff pay an even higher price.
Commenting Mr McArthur said:
“Last year the national force overspent its day-to-day budget by £18m. In August we were told it would be £21m this year. Now they admit it’s risen to £27m. Police Scotland’s budget crisis is going from bad to worse.
“The Justice Secretary was cornered by officers at SNP conference following reports they have been forced to buy their own kit in charity shops, instructed not to investigate drug dealers to avoid further overtime and police cars are being held together by duct tape. Barely a week goes without a revelation about the plight of our police service.
“It’s time that ministers plug the black hole in the police’s budget before hard working officers and staff pay an even higher price for the SNP’s disastrous reforms."