Scottish police funding black hole wiped out in £60m budget deal

Scotland's police chief has welcomed a £60 million increase in funding for the force that will wipe out a looming black hole in its finances.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown the "relentless" nature of policing to keep the public safe during the pandemic.

The budget unveiled by finance secretary Kate Forbes at Holyrood will see a record £1.3 billion invested in policing, including a £60m increase in the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) resource budget and an extra £15m to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus.

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The overall settlement will eliminate a £50m structural deficit that had been looming as a major challenge for Police Scotland.

Iain Livingstone welcomed £60m funding increaseIain Livingstone welcomed £60m funding increase
Iain Livingstone welcomed £60m funding increase
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The Chief Constable said: "The last 12 months have demonstrated the relentless nature of policing – our mission to prevent harm, support communities and keep people safe has been evident throughout the pandemic.

"The reform of policing in Scotland has brought many benefits to all communities across the country, while £200m has been returned to the public purse every year compared to legacy arrangements."

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said the justice system in Scotland had "stepped up to the challenges" of the pandemic

"This year has highlighted the critical role Police Scotland plays in keeping communities safe, and I’m pleased that our record £1.3bn investment in policing will see us exceed our commitment to deliver a £100m boost by 2021," Mr Yousaf said.

"It will also eliminate the structural deficit, delivering a sustainable budget for a modern policing service with the right mix of skills and expertise to help people stay safe in their homes, in their communities and online."

The budget will also see an increased settlement of £343m for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, as well as a rise in the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) budget to £129.3m.

Community justice services increase to more than £118.7m, while the Scottish Prison Service gets £72.8m of capital investment to modernise the prison estate.

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There will also be increased funding of more than £18m for services to support victims of crime and deliver measures to improve their experiences of the justice system.

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