Police numbers above target
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has welcomed figures confirming that the Scottish Government is continuing to exceed its target to deliver 1,000 additional police officers across the country.
The latest Police Officer Quarterly Strength Statistics show that there were 17,373 police officers in Scotland on June 30, 2012.
This is an increase of 1,139 officers, or 7 percent, from the position at March 31, 2007, the baseline for the 1,000 extra officer pledge.
Mr MacAskill said:
"The Scottish Government is continuing to exceed its commitment to put 1,000 extra officers in communities across Scotland and that is to be welcomed.
"Our communities are becoming safer - fear of crime is down, recorded crime is at its lowest level for 37 years and the risk of being a victim of crime is falling, backed by the additional officers policing our towns, villages and cities.
"People are feeling safer in their communities, and nine out of ten people in the 2011 Scottish Household Survey saying that their neighbourhood is a ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ good place to live.
"Meanwhile in England and Wales officer numbers are now at their lowest level since 2003, falling by over 9,600 in the two years since March 2010 and expected to drop by 16,000 in total.
"We will not let this happen here. Our plans for reform will ensure that the new Police Service of Scotland continues to protect frontline policing for all of our communities, keeping our streets safe and our people protected."