TALE OF TWO GOVERNMENTS ON POLICING HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR YES
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 13:14
Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald has today welcomed figures showing that Scotland has continued to maintain 1,000 extra police officers since when the SNP took office.
The Scottish Government’s commitment to public service and justice has been backed up by research showing differing approaches to policing north and south of the border.
Figures also show Scotland has 326 police officers per 100,000 of the population in contrast to 227 officers per 100,000 of the population in England and Wales.
Of all the 43 forces in England and Wales, only the MET police and City of London police combined have more officers per 100,000 population than Scotland – North Yorkshire has 171 and Greater Manchester 262 officers per 100,000 of the population.
These statistics reflect the most up to date police officer figures in England and Wales, but Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has predicted that officer numbers in England and Wales will decrease by 15,400. A number of forces in England and Wales are planning to reduce their number of police officers by around 20% between March 2010 and March 2015.
By 2015 it is planned that there will be 1,525 fewer police officers in Greater Manchester Police, a reduction of 19%. In Scotland, a cut of 19% from the level in March 2010 would mean a fall to 14,101 officers, over three thousand below the target committed to by the Scottish Government.
Commenting, Mr MacDonald said:
“The slashing of police numbers south of the border shows Westminster’s lack of commitment to front line policing.
“It also stands in stark contrast to the principles and action of the Scottish Government who have actually put an extra 1,000 Bobbies on the beat since 2007.
“Thankfully policing is devolved but with more police cuts to come south of the border - and the knock on effect that has on the money Scotland gets back form Westminster - these figures show the gains of making decisions here in Scotland and highlight the absolute need for a Yes vote in September.
“As an independent country Scotland would be the 14th richest country among the world’s most developed nations. With our vast natural resources and our high-ranking economic output we can of course maintain and build on success already achieved.
“With responsibility for our economy we can design an economic and social policy that puts communities first and continues to improve our already impressively low crime statistics.
“The referendum is a choice between two futures. A Yes vote will guarantee we can continue to prioritise a well-staffed and properly equipped police service. But a No vote means more governments we didn’t elect which will continue to cut police numbers and threaten Scotland’s success in this area.”