SNP welcome record police numbers
The SNP have today (Wednesday) welcomed Police numbers in Scotland reaching 17,436, the highest ever recorded level.
Figures publsihed today show an increase of 93 officers from the previous quarter, and a massive 7% increase - or 1,202 officers - from 31st March 2007, when the SNP were elected.
The figures again highlight the differing approaches north and south of the Border, where 16,000 police jobs are being cut.
Last month Home Secretary Theresa May was heckled at the Police Federation conference, in stark contrast to the standing ovation Kenny MacAskill received at the Scottish Police Federation conference.
Crime is at a 35 year low, fear of crime is down, the risk of being a victim of crime in Scotland is falling and is lower than in England and Wales.
John Finnie, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands and former serving police officer with the Northern Constabulary, welcomed the news.
"This is great news for the people of Scotland and shows that the Scottish Government is totally committed to keeping our communities safer and tackling crime through having more police on our streets.
"People are feeling safer in their communities and - despite the relentless scaremongering from opposition parties - these record police numbers underline the cast-iron commitment the SNP Government has to protecting our police service.
"The risk of crime is lower in Scotland than in England and Wales. Unfortunately, south of the border there is now the lowest number of officers since 2002 and an estimated 16,000 police are likely to lose their jobs due to UK government funding cuts.
"We are proud of our police and the excellent job they do, but we must go further if we are to protect our police service from Westminster cuts. That's why our plans for a new Police Service of Scotland will ensure that frontline policing is protected and our communities kept safe."
Police officer quarterly strength statistics: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/06/policenumbers06062012