MSP welcomes police stats

Police numbers in Scotland have reached an all-time high according to new police officer quarterly strength statistics which were released recently.

In Grampian the current officer complement is over 130 higher than in 2007 - an increase of around 10% in numbers in that period.

The figures for Scotland as a whole show that there are now 17,454 Full Time Equivalent police officers in Scotland, compared to 16,234 five years ago. This figure is higher than any previous recorded and every force area in Scotland has seen an increase on the number of police officers in place in May 2007.

Separate statistics released also show that there has been a sharp reduction in the number of offences involving a firearm in the last year. In 2011/12 there were 514 offences involving a firearm, a 21% reduction on the previous year’s figure of 647 and the lowest level for 34 years. In Grampian the statistics show that just four offences were recorded involving a firearm.

Commenting, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “The figures showing that police officers are at a new high and firearms offences are at a 34 year low will be hugely welcomed by people across Scotland and stand in stark contrast to the situation south of the border where police numbers are being slashed by 16,000 over the current spending review period.

“For communities in the North-east this means a greater sense of well being and a much reduced risk of being a victim of criminal activity.

“The SNP remains focussed on preventative spend. By maintaining investment in frontline policing, crime has been driven down, which reduces the impact on other frontline services, such as courts, support for victims of crime, criminal justice social work and health services.

“Crime is at a 37 year low and communities in Scotland are safer than ever before, thanks to the incredible efforts that the police go to in order to protect us.

“That is no coincidence and shows quite clearly why the SNP Government’s determination to maintain the additional police officers that have been recruited since 2007 is so important.”