Police Scotland needs a £55 million funding boost to cope with modern pressures, gather more intelligence and tackle stretched resources. That’s the view of Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Mr Rennie has been a leading critic of the centralisation of the police and the mismanagement of the service in recent years. He now believes that additional funding is required to get the force back to its best.
Mr Rennie said:
“Our once proud police service has been battered and bruised in recent years as a result of mismanagement and poor leadership including the abolition of the eight forces to create one, centralised force.
“Experienced and skilled police officers have been back-filling civilian roles, wasting their talent and expertise. Lots of specialist civilians have been lost to the force, which has created real problems with the control rooms.
“Especially with terrorist attacks and threats from modern crime, we need to ensure our police service is fit for the future. That is why we have argued for some time that Police Scotland needs a multi-million boost to ensure it can meet the challenge.
“In the Scottish budget negotiations we made a strong case for an additional £20 million for the police budget. This was rejected by the Scottish Government. In our manifesto we have made the case for Police Scotland to be made exempt by the UK Government from VAT. This would release another £35 million.
“Our additional £55 million would be a significant boost. It would allow the police to have more conversations in communities, with more information being passed on and more knowledge about who’s who, and who needs to be kept under surveillance.”