Number of police officers on local beats continues to fall

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The centralisation of policing seems to be continuing according to South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth.

The recent publication of new figures shows the number of police officers in local divisions falling while those carrying out central police functions have risen. Since 2013, local divisions have lost 326 officers, including 36 officer posts in Lothians and Borders division.

Over the same period, regional police units have gained 79 officers, and the national police force has increased by 161 officers.

Mr Smyth said: “The local police division do an excellent job given the restrictions on resources, but these figures reveal that centralisation has continued since the formation of Police Scotland”.

“While there has been a small rise in the number of officers across Scotland since the last quarter, more and more officers are being syphoned off local beats to regional and national roles and that is bad news for people in the borders.”