Responding to the news that there were 77 fewer police officers on 30 June 2018 compared to the same point a year earlier, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"Officers are stretched to the extent that they are warning beat policing has 'effectively died off entirely' in some areas. They will therefore be apprehensive about the possibility of having hundreds fewer colleagues in future.
"Police Scotland and the SPA need to listen to staff and act on their concerns, starting with conducting the overdue service-wide survey.
"Officers have had to put up with a lot thanks to the SNP's botched centralisation. We need an independent expert commission to recommend reforms and repair the damage."