McArthur: SNP must respond to police’s investment needs

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP today said SNP ministers must ensure Police Scotland can afford the kit it needs, after revealing Police Scotland are using more than 250 vehicles which are over a decade old while hundreds more have in excess of 100,000 miles on the clock.

The SPA this week revealed a £56.2 million gap between proposed capital spending and Police Scotland funding.

Figures acquired by Scottish Liberal Democrats under freedom of information legislation now show that Police Scotland have 251 vehicles which are over 10 years old, while 870 vehicles have racked up more than 100,000 miles.

The figures also come on the heels of research from the party showing:

  • the number of vehicles hired by Police Scotland increased from 6,609 in 2015/16 to 10,833 in 2017/18;
  • just 23 vehicles (0.7%) in Police Scotland’s fleet are electric or hybrid.

Mr McArthur commented:

"Staff at every level of the national force have raised concerns about serious budget pressures.

“The fact that they are carrying out their duties in vehicles with approaching 200,000 miles on the clock is just another symptom of the pressure that Police Scotland is under. What is more, the national force has barely even begun the mammoth transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

“It is the SNP Government's responsibility to ensure that the police can afford the kit they need. However, we learnt this week that the their plan for upgrading it is £50 million short of funding.

"It's right that usage of police resources is maximised but officers, staff and the public don’t want to see the national force dependent on short-term, cheap or polluting fixes.”

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