Police officer target met despite drop in numbers
- 4 March 2014
- From the section Scotland
Police Scotland is still meeting its target of recruiting 1,000 additional officers despite a fall in numbers over the last quarter.
New figures suggest that 1,024 extra officers have been recruited since March 2007.
However, there was a drop of 56 officers over the last quarter following the creation of a single police force across Scotland.
Scotland now has 17,258 officers - an increase of 6.3% on the 2007 total.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "This government is continuing to deliver on our commitment to keep over 1,000 extra officers to keep our streets safe and contribute to an almost 40 year-low in recorded crime.
"The number of additional police numbers is now moving towards 1,000, keeping costs down while continuing to exceed our target."
He added: "This contrasts with the position in England and Wales where officer numbers are now at their lowest level in 11 years and expected to drop by more than 15,000 in total."
Police Scotland has also published, for the first time since its formation last April, the number of officers in each of its fourteen divisions.
- A Division - Aberdeen City - 540 officers, including 18 traffic officers
- B Division - Aberdeenshire & Moray - 592 officers, including 40 traffic officers
- C Division - Forth Valley - 633 officers, including 22 traffic officers
- D Division - Tayside - 968 officers, including 34 traffic officers
- E Division - Edinburgh City - 1,180 officers, including 25 traffic officers
- G Division - Greater Glasgow - 2,714 officers, including 34 traffic officers
- J Division - Lothians and Scottish Borders - 964 officers, including 40 traffic officers
- K Division - Renfrewshire & Inverclye - 678 officers, including 18 traffic officers
- L Division - Argyll & West Dunbartonshire - 570 officers, including 28 traffic officers
- N Division - Highlands & Islands - 632 officers, including 18 traffic officers
- P Division - Fife - 839 officers, including 28 traffic officers
- Q Division - Lanarkshire - 1,465 officers, including 28 traffic officers
- U Division - Ayrshire - 862 officers, including 28 traffic officers
- V Division - Dumfries & Galloway - 371 officers, including 28 traffic officers
These numbers do not include regional resources in the east (939), west (1,364) and north (584). These include major investigation teams, forensics, e-crime, serious and organised crime units and counter-terrorism.
Nor do they include the 1,363 officers counted as "national" resources, including specialist crime division, intelligence, training, air support, mounted police, motorcycle cops and mountain rescue.
Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: "Local policing is at the heart of Police Scotland.
"The creation of single service has allowed us better flexibility in allocating police officers to the right place at the right time to help keep people safe.
"Police Scotland continues to maintain police officer numbers at a minimum of 17,234 to meet the Scottish government's commitment and we have a rolling recruitment programme."