Annual savings of at least £8 million will be freed up to protect frontline policing services after a pay deal for officers was struck between the Scottish Government and the three police staff associations.
The significant financial savings released by this agreement will remain within police budgets.
This will help forces, including Lothian and Borders Police, maintain the Scottish Government’s pledge to deliver an additional 1,000 officers on Scotland’s streets and ensuring police can build on the work that has helped drive crime to a 32 year low.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill confirmed last week that he had written to police authority conveners, chief constables, and the staff associations, informing them that the package of changes to police pay and conditions will now come into effect from 2011/12.
The changes - which have been approved by the UK Police Negotiating Board - include the ending of special priority payments and the suspension of performance related bonus payments for superintendents and chief officers in 2011-12.
Mr MacAskill said: “Scotland is fortunate to be served by a highly dedicated and professional police force and I pay tribute to the work officers do every day protecting our communities and keeping us safe.
“The Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to supporting Scotland’s police and this agreement will help ensure that our forces have the maximum possible funding to maintain their services in the face of an unprecedented cut to Scotland’s overall budget.
“This is a fair pay deal for Scottish police, and one that has been based on constructive dialogue between the Scottish Government, ACPOS, Cosla and the three police staff associations.
“The savings generated from the ending of the special priority payments and the suspension of other bonuses will offer forces at least £8 million a year to help sustain frontline officer numbers.”
The pay deal reached with police staff associations will see the end of special priority payments to federated ranks on select specialist duties.
Performance related bonuses for superintending ranks will be suspended for 2011/12, as will the chief officer bonus scheme.
An on-call allowance of £23 per occasion for federated ranks will be introduced from April, and this allowance will rise in line with police pay in the future.
Specific posts will be allocated a £13 a month plain clothes allowance, which will also be uplifted with future pay awards.
The Scottish Government has also made a commitment to continue discussions on various aspects of police pay in the future over the period of the pay freeze. This includes consideration of bonuses.