SNP under fire as police officer numbers fall
POLICE officer numbers in Scotland have dropped for the first time in a year.
Official figures show there were 17,371 police officers during the three months to the end of September - a fall of 53 from the previous quarter.
The last time the figures fell was during the last three months of 2009, when they dropped by 61 to 17,217.
Labour's justice spokesman, Richard Baker, accused the Scottish Government of breaking the party's pledge at the 2007 Holyrood elections to increase police officer numbers. He said: "The SNP police pledge con is being exposed, and it's about time that justice secretary Kenny MacAskill came clean."
Despite the latest fall, there are still over 1,000 police officers more than there were when the SNP came to power.
Mr MacAskill said: "We remain absolutely committed to protecting frontline policing services, and I am delighted that a key part of that commitment continues to be met, despite uncertainty caused by the unprecedented cuts to Scotland's budget.
"The Scottish Government pledged to deliver 1,000 additional police officers by the end of this parliament, and this promise remains firmly on track helping to make Scotland's communities safer and drive recorded crime down to a 32-year low."
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