Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur today called on the Scottish Government to give the police the resources they need after it was revealed the clear up rate for crimes and offences fell to its lowest level since 2011-12.
Recorded crime statistics, published today, show the clear up rate (the proportion of cases where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute) decreased 1.6% to 50%.
Elsewhere, the figures showed overall recorded crime decreased by 3%. However, the number of sexual crimes increased by 5% and is at the highest on record.
Mr McArthur commented:
"Police officers and staff work around the clock to keep us safe but they simply don't have the resources and support they need. The clear-up rate is at its lowest level since Police Scotland was established and people will be concerned that the SNP's squeeze on the police is having an impact on their ability to clear up crime.
"Officers and staff continue to be hamstrung by a lack of resources, the decision to cut valuable civilian expertise and the reliance on outdated IT systems. Nobody can do their job to the best of their ability without the right support."
On the Justice Secretary's announcement of a new group to look at how to prevent sexual crime, Mr McArthur added:
"While steps such as making so-called revenge porn illegal are welcome, we need to understand what is causing more young people to become involved in sexual cyber crime. The proliferation of technology is undoubtedly a key factor but, given this isn't going to change, it is important to examine how we can better protect people from misuse."