Responding to today's Scottish Crime and Justice survey which found the proportion of people who say the police do a good or excellent job has fallen from 61% to 49% and the proportion of adults aware of the police regularly patrolling their area has fallen from 56% to 39% since 2012/13, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"These figures highlight a troubling downturn in the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve since the SNP's controversial overhaul of the service.
"People want to know that when they are in need they can turn to a local officer who knows their neighbourhood. Instead we have seen the roll out of pilots in the North East in which officers don't attend at all.
"The service is already warning that police officer numbers could drop by almost 1,500 and attend fewer crimes if the Scottish Government proceed down the path they are on. Ministers need to ensure that the forthcoming budget offers some respite for hard pressed officers."