Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s SPA board meeting, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur has today warned that Police Scotland’s draft budget shows an organisation battling against the twin threats of Brexit and budget pressures.
The draft budget forecasts an underlying operating deficit in the 2019/20 budget of £24.6m. However, it also warns that the force is facing additional in-year costs associated with Brexit of £17m, which would take the operating deficit to £41.6m unless additional funding is made available.
Mr McArthur said:
“The national force has consistently been in the red since the SNP’s botched centralisation.
“This draft budget shows an organisation battling against the twin threats of Brexit and budget pressures.
“Police officers and staff work incredibly hard, day in day out. The Justice Secretary needs to ensure that Police Scotland has the support and resources it needs to protect our communities.”
Commenting on reports from the Scottish Police Federation conference that police officers have had to buy their own trousers due to the "poor quality" of police uniforms, Mr McArthur added:
“When people talk about the fraying blue line, they usually mean the pressures that our frontline officers are under, not poor-quality trousers. Police Scotland top brass must ensure that all staff have uniforms of sufficient quality to properly do their job.”