1000 extra police pledge maintained despite drop

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The SNP has today welcomed figures showing that Scotland has continued to maintain 1,000 extra police officers since when the SNP took office, despite new figures showing a slight drop over the last twelve months.

The new figures coincides with research showing differing approaches to policing north and south of the border.

Figures show Scotland has 326 police officers per 100,000 of the population in contrast to 227 officers per 100,000 of the population in England and Wales.

Of all the 43 forces in England and Wales, only the MET police and City of London police combined have more officers per 100,000 population than Scotland – North Yorkshire has 171 and Greater Manchester 262 officers per 100,000 of the population.

These statistics reflect the most up to date police officer figures in England and Wales, but Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has predicted that officer numbers in England and Wales will decrease by 15,400.  A number of forces in England and Wales are planning to reduce their number of police officers by around 20% between March 2010 and March 2015.

By 2015 it is planned that there will be 1,525 fewer police officers in Greater Manchester Police, a reduction of 19%. In Scotland, a cut of 19% from the level in March 2010 would mean a fall to 14,101 officers, over three thousand below the target committed to by the Scottish Government.

SNP MSP Sandra White, who also sits on the Justice Committee, said:

“The slashing of police numbers south of the border shows Westminster’s lack of commitment to front line policing.

“It also stands in stark contrast to the principles and action of the Scottish Government who have actually put an extra 1,000 Bobbies on the beat since 2007.

“Thankfully policing is devolved but with more police cuts to come south of the border – and the knock on effect that has on the money Scotland gets back form Westminster – these figures show the gains of making decisions here in Scotland and highlight the absolute need for a Yes vote in September.”