Justice and Law Officers – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 14th June 2007.
To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken in implementing the commitment to provide 1,000 extra police officers. (S3O-179)
Delivering additional policing capacity will require a co-ordinated, carefully planned and innovative approach. We are developing our plans to deliver the commitment, and we intend to publish them in due course.
I have a simple additional question: is 1,000 extra police officers enough?
Perhaps the member should discuss that with Mr Carlaw, who, in a debate last week, wondered why the figure of 1,500 was mentioned in the Conservatives' manifesto.
Scotland requires a visible police presence, and the Government is committed to increasing policing capacity. A visible police presence not only reassures communities, it deters criminals. We must ensure not only that our officers—who do a fantastic job—continue to work hard, but that we work smarter to free up resources. We will seek to recruit and retain police officers. The Administration understands that, as well as bringing in more new officers to add to the officers that we have, we must ensure that we stop haemorrhaging officers—many of whom have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to contribute—as a result of ill health or retiral.