Central Scotland MSP Stephen Kerr is urging the SNP to ‘put bobbies back on the beat’ by backing his party’s plans for a Local Policing Act.
This call comes after new figures showed how officer numbers have been slashed since the SNP created Police Scotland in 2013, which centralised eight local forces. Across Scotland numbers have fallen by over 800.
Across the Forth Valley Division a total of 30 officers have been lost in the period since December 2013.
Mr Kerr says the SNP have decimated local policing and have stood idly by while violent crime has continued to increase in recent years.
The plans for a Local Policing Act by the Scottish Conservatives would see more police patrolling the streets across Stirling, give communities more of a say on policing decisions and ensure frontline officers in would always be fully resourced.
Stephen Kerr said:
“Our hardworking frontline officers on the frontline across Falkirk deserve to be fully resourced. Instead, since the creation of Police Scotland, the SNP have consistently undermined local policing. They have stood idly by while violent crime has increased. That is a trend that must be reversed immediately and our local policing act, putting bobbies back on the beat.
A Local Policing Act will ensure more police are patrolling our streets, will give communities more of a say in policing decisions, and guarantee proper investment in supporting our officers. The SNP’s centralisation agenda has failed to deliver the policing required across our area and it is time our communities saw more of a visible police presence again.”
Almost every area of Scotland has fewer officers on the frontline since the SNP police merger. 'Divisional' officers are the core local resource who patrol streets and respond to calls. The numbers exclude specialist officers who are shared by different divisions. 12 out of 13 local Divisions have fewer of these officers since Police Scotland was first created in 2013, with a total cut of 818 officers across Scotland since 2013, when the SNP merged Scotland's police force. (Police Scotland, Officer Numbers Q2, 30 June 2021, link<https://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/police-scotland/police-scotland-officer-numbers/>; Q3 2013-14, link<https://web.archive.org/web/20200109115945/https:/www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/police-scotland/212598/>).