Borders police numbers down

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The number of police officers based in the Borders seems to be steadily reducing according to research carried out by Scottish Conservatives.

Division J, which covers the Lothians and Scottish Borders has lost 11 officers in the last quarter - down from 930 to 919 - and since Police Scotland was created in 2013 it has lost a total of 45 officers.

Divisional officer numbers exclude ‘regional’ and ‘national’ officers which are counted multiple times by Police Scotland for different divisions.

The Scottish Conservative led Scottish Borders Council administration has committed £282,000 for six new officers and a sergeant tasked with community policing to mitigate what they describe as “the SNP’s Government mismanagement of Scotland’s police”.

Attacking the SNP Scottish Government for the fall in police numbers in the region, Rachael Hamilton MSP said: ‘These statistics show SNP mismanagement over vital public services.

“Here in the Scottish Borders we feel police losses more than anyone due to our rurality and strong communities. It is time the SNP started to respect our public services and meet their promises.

“The SNP say that we’ll see more bobbies on the beat, but we see less and less and that really has an impact on local communities here in the Borders.

“The Scottish Conservative led administration has had the foresight and vision to commit spending so we will have six more officers in the Scottish Borders to help make our towns and villages feel safer.’

Councillor Shona Haslam, leader of the Scottish Borders Council added: “As a council we are doing everything that we can to protect our local residents from SNP cuts.

”Anti-social behaviour is a key area of concern for local people and these additional officers will be locally tasked to deal local issues. They have only been operating for a month and have already issued over 90 parking tickets, and been involved in several prominent arrests.

“They are going to be a great addition to the team in the Borders.”