I always listen to what the Auditor General has to say. I also listen to what those south of the border say about the UK Government’s lack of investment in the police service. The Police Federation of England and Wales has said that it is the UK Government’s
“austerity policies which have seen police budgets”—[
The Conservatives do not like hearing this at all, but I will continue to read the quote. The Police Federation says that it is the UK Government’s
“austerity policies which have seen police budgets slashed by 19% in real terms. This is why policing”— in England and Wales—
“is in crisis and our members are on their knees trying to keep up with the rising tide of crime with nearly 22,000 fewer officers.”
Compare that to the situation in Scotland, where we have revenue protection, an uplift of 52 per cent in the capital budget, more police officers than we inherited and lower crime rates. That puts us in a relatively good position compared with that of police services south of the border.