Number of special constables in the Highlands continues to fall
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The number of special constables in the Highlands has fallen by over 40 per cent since 2013 according to new figures released by Police Scotland.
The figures from a freedom of information request show that since 2013, there are 51 fewer officers, with numbers down from 123 in 2013 to 72 in 2020.
On a national level the figures show the number of special constables has more than halved in Scotland, falling from 1387 officers in 2013 to 511 in 2020.
Commenting on the figures, Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain, said: "It is clear from these statistics that the Scottish Government has presided over a steep decline in the number of special constables in the Highlands and across Scotland.
"This is very concerning news as special constables play a vital role in deterring crime and strengthening that link between our communities and police forces.
"Over the last seven years the SNP Government have done little to stop this downward trend. This drop in numbers as well as the long delays to the building of a new Inverness prison highlight the SNP’s soft touch approach to justice in the Highlands.
"I am calling on the SNP Government to take swift action to reverse this recruitment crisis and ensure that our policing capability in the Highlands is in no way compromised."
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