Police Scotland are still facing brutal cuts despite SNP promises to increase their budget, local MSP Jackie Baillie has said.

Before the Scottish Parliament election Nicola Sturgeon promised to increase the revenue budget of the Scottish Police Authority and protect the Police budget.

 

However papers published by the SPA this week show that Police Scotland faces £20 million of cuts.

 

The axe has already fallen on local policing in West Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh and Lomond since the creation of the single force in 2013:

 

–         Police stations in Garelochhead and Alexandria were closed to the public

–         Opening hours at Dumbarton Police Station were cut

–         Traffic police were moved away from the area

 

Plans to abolish the dedicated local division for West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute and base the local police headquarters south of the river in Paisley were defeated last year after strong opposition from local residents and Jackie Baillie.

 

Jackie Baillie said local police officers do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and called on the SNP Government to protect local budgets from further cuts.

 

Jackie said:

 

“Despite the rhetoric of the SNP’s police election promises, the reality is that Police Scotland’s finances are in turmoil after years of cuts under the SNP. People in West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh have come together in recent years to stand up for our local police officers because we appreciate the difficult job they have to do to keep our communities safe. But time and time again we have been forced to campaign to protect our local police services from the SNP’s swingeing budget cuts.  

 

“Officers and staff should be getting the support and resources they need but instead they are facing huge cuts and uncertainty about where the axe will fall.

 

“The SNP cannot continue to live in denial over their failure to fund our police properly. Hardworking officers who put their safety on the line deserve better than that

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