How is the SNP protecting frontline policing?
The SNP will continue to support Police Scotland and ensure that they have the resources they need to protect the people of Scotland. We will protect the police revenue budget in real terms for the entirety of the next parliament – delivering an additional £100 million of investment over the next five years.
In Scotland, under the SNP, police numbers are up, while they’ve fallen in England. This has helped reduce crime to a 42-year low. It is vital that we keep frontline policing strong to keep crime down. However, the nature of crime is changing and the police need to reflect this. We will therefore ensure that the police also have more specialists, such as experts in cyber-crime and counter-fraud and that the service has the right mix and numbers of staff for the future.
At Westminster, SNP MPs will continue to make the case to the UK government to extend a VAT exemption to Scottish emergency services. The money saved will be invested by the Scottish Government in making Scotland safer. Despite emergency services in England having tax relief from VAT, the UK government has failed to deliver the same relief for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. This has cost Scottish taxpayers more than £140 million since 2013.