The number of extra police officers continues to exceed the 1,000 target, figures published today show.
The latest quarterly workforce statistics show there were 17,263 police officers on December 31, 2015, an increase of 6.3 per cent or 1,029 officers compared to March 31, 2007.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:
“This Government is dedicated to protecting local communities and, with crime at a 41 year low, Scotland is the safest it has been for over a generation.
“This reduction in crime levels is supported by our continued commitment to delivering 1,000 more officers compared to 2007 – a commitment we remain dedicated to and continue to deliver against.
“We will continue to work with Police Scotland to support them by ensuring there are enough officers to do the job and safeguard our capacity to protect the people of Scotland in the future.
Stuart McMillan MSP added:
“Scotland’s police officers and staff work incredibly hard to serve our communities, tackling violence and crime.
“By contrast, police numbers in England and Wales have already fallen by 16,800 since 2007 to their lowest level since 2000. If numbers in Scotland had been cut at the same rate between these dates, we would have 2,922 fewer officers than our commitment.
“That is why the Scottish Government has protected the police revenue budget for the coming year and committed to £100 million of investment over the next parliament to maintain that protection in real terms. Alongside this, the Scottish Government is extending the police reform fund for a further year to support on-going reform. We are providing £55 million of funding, of which £36 million is revenue for the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland.”