However, the SNP when elected last May also promised 1000 more police for Scotland. They claimed they would do this by the end of this parliament. However yesterday when it was announce that there were either 118 or 74 additional officers the SNP spin machine has changed their definition in their target to recruits not additional officers:
"In addition to the 150 additional recruits which were recruited in 2007/08, a
further 450 additional officers will be recruited by the end of this financial
year, 200 additional officers in 2009/10 and 200 in 2010/11. This will bring the
total number of additional recruits to 1,000 over the life of this Parliament."
But hang on same statement does acknowledge that:
"We inherited the lowest recruitment since devolution with many officers due to
retire. We've tackled that challenge head on, and although these latest figures
are reassuring, there remains much work to be done."
and goes on to say:
"We have set out plans to deliver a more visible policing presence on Scotland's
streets and make an additional 1,000 officers available in our communities. We
are not just delivering on this but going substantially beyond, by also looking
at recruitment, retention and redeployment."
Well no doubt the Nats will take whichever thousand they want to as they have mixed up the two willy nilly through this statement of course redeployment may well meet a target of 1000 extra officers available in our community. Part of the Lib Dem pledge in 2005 was to do away with a lot of the red tape, provide better resources to free up more police time for them to be out on the beat. However look at what the Nats actually promised last May (page 58):
"That’s why we will set out plans in our first Budget for Scotland for 1000 more
police and will encourage Chief Constables to focus these new resources on
There it is in black and white 1000 more police, not 1000 recruits, not 1000 more on the streets and actual increase of 1000 officers. Bearing in mind that in 2008/9 271 officers will reach retirement age and some 708 more before 2010/11. That's 900 officers that cannot be retained or redeployed leaving a net gain on the promise of 1000 recruits to be about 100 by the end of this parliament or 10%.
So when a spokesman for the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill says:
"Labour and the Liberal Democrats are going to have to eat a big slice of humble
pie now that police numbers have increased to record levels – well over 100
above the position we inherited from them."
Maybe they should dig out their own recipe, check out exactly on off target their promises are and find out just what the facts are.