Monday, 3 August 2009

Cash Flow Crisis Could Affect Police Numbers

Strathclyde Police, Scotland's largest police force, is facing a budget crisis that may result is redundancies. The force is key to the SNP's election pledge to add 1,000 officers to the beat, earlier this summer they were pleased to announce that 846 had been added.

However, the force that has claimed 465 of the new officers is looking at having to make £34.7 million which they say may result in some of those officers not being put on front line duties, or having exceeded 8,000 officers. Although with the discrepancy between income and outgoings set to increase to £65.6 million in 2013-14 making it unlikely that additional recruitment will take place. Strathclyde also suggest that other forces will also face the same issues.

But their report does suggest that reductions in staff numbers may be required:

"What we are worried about is how much the government is going to be able to give us next year, and about how much the local authority is going to give us next year."

"Dependent on the savings options that will require to be considered, it is inevitable that there will be some impact on personnel resources."

So bad news for Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill going forwards to meet the commitment. If the Police forces truly believe that no additional increase in force size and that even these may not all be employed in front line service the target looks like being failed by the end of the current parliament.

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