MSP concerned with falling police officer numbers in Ayrshire
Ayrshire MSP Sharon Dowey has slammed the SNP Government for overseeing cuts in the number of frontline police officers in the Ayrshire Policing Division.
Sharon’s call comes after new statistics showed that over 900 local officers have been lost across Scotland since the SNP merged the force into Police Scotland in 2013, with overall officer numbers at their lowest level since 2008.
Local officer numbers are down by more than 100 compared to this time last year, and down by 35 during the first quarter of this year.
In Ayrshire Policing Division there are now 73 fewer officers than nine years ago when SNP ministers created Police Scotland, while over the last quarter officer numbers in Ayrshire have fallen by 24.
Sharon says it is little surprise to see such a fall in numbers as the SNP Government has treated police officers “with contempt” and failed to honor spending commitments promised for the policing budget.
Sharon has accused the SNP of consistently letting down officers in Ayrshire Policing Division and backed her party’s plans for a Local Policing Act to ensure more bobbies are on the beat in Ayrshire and that communities have more of a say in local policing divisions.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Sharon Dowey said:
“It is local policing divisions such as Ayrshire that are shamefully but predictably bearing the brunt of the SNP’s brutal underfunding of our police force.
“It is shocking to see such a reduction in local officers in Ayrshire Policing Division since SNP Ministers merged forces into Police Scotland in 2013. Sadly, that trend is continuing with each passing quarter.
“It is hardly surprising, though, when the SNP Government has treated our hardworking officers in Ayrshire with such contempt. Officers across Scotland have removed their goodwill after the derisory pay offer that has been put forward.
“SNP Ministers should never have let it get to that stage and for officer numbers to fall so far. That only increases the risk of crime in our communities in Ayrshire, where people like to be reassured by a strong police presence in their local area.
“Policing is clearly no longer a priority for the SNP. By contrast, the Scottish Conservatives are fully committed to supporting officers through our Local Policing Act, which would restore local patrols in our communities and ensure people in Ayrshire have more of a say in local policing decisions.”