Fall in the number of police officers in the Highlands sparks calls for the government to do more to deliver the resources needed to tackle crime
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New figures from Police Scotland show that the Highlands and Islands Division lost a dozen officers this year sparking calls for the SNP to protect police numbers.
Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain made the call after new figures showed the number of frontline officers fell between June and September this year.
The MSP says it is imperative that the SNP give frontline officers in the Highlands and Islands Division the resources they need in order to tackle crime.
The number of divisional officers fell from 664 to 652 leading Mr Mountain to say that it is “imperative” that the SNP give frontline officers in the Highlands and Islands Division the resources they need in order to tackle crime.
“It is clear that frontline policing numbers have reduced in the Highlands and Islands Division in recent months,” he said.
“Highlanders will be alarmed at this reduction and the SNP Government must support our hardworking officers on the frontline by giving them the resources they need to tackle crime.
“Our Police Officers put themselves on the line each day to keep our local communities safe.
“The very least they deserve is to be properly resourced and supported by this SNP government.”
A spokesman for the justice secretary, Humza Yousaf, said: “Recruitment into Police Scotland continues to be strong, with officer numbers in Scotland significantly above the level inherited in 2007 and favourable relative to elsewhere in Great Britain.
“We have increased the policing budget by £60 million this year – £10 million more than what was asked by the Tories, taking our annual investment in policing to more than £1.2 billion.
“We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of Scotland’s police throughout the pandemic, and the professionalism they have shown.”