Rise in police numbers is welcomed

First Minister Alex Salmond with Rachel Burnett
First Minister Alex Salmond with Rachel Burnett

Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond and North East MSP Christian Allard have welcomed an increase in the number of serving police officers in the north-east of Scotland.

The latest quarterly figures show that there were 17,267 serving police officers at the end of September, an increase of 1,033 or 6.4 percent compared to March 2007 – the final quarter before the SNP took office.

In Aberdeen City, there has been a 5% increase in the number of police officers since December 2013 from 540 to 564.

And across Aberdeenshire and Moray, the number of police officers has also increased.

While police numbers in Scotland continue to remain high, they have fallen sharply in England and Wales where they are expected to fall by over 15,000 in total.

Mr Allard said: “These latest figures show that the Scottish Government continues to meet its promise of delivering 1,000 additional police officers to keep our communities safe.

“With police officer numbers up and crime at an all-time low, it is clear that the SNP is dedicated to creating a safer Scotland.

“There is simply no substitute for having police officers on the streets of the north-east.

“I am delighted that the SNP have delivered on their promise in the face of savage cuts to policing south of the border.

Mr Salmond added: “With crime at a 39-year low it will be heartening to hear that the people of the north-east have suffered less crime under the SNP Government.

“While we must never be complacent, these are incredible results and the efforts of the police must be applauded.

“Making our own decisions on policing has allowed us to deliver this distinctive approach – in contrast to England and Wales where budgets are continuing to be cut and police numbers are expected to drop by over 15,000 in total.”