I am not sure that I accept the characterisation of the situation as a last-minute “reprieve”. It was always the case that the Government said that it would cover a budget deficit, which allowed the chief constable to make the operational decision to maintain additional police numbers at more than 1,000.
It is important to note that, while the Government has been in power, more than 1,000 additional police officers have been recruited. Because of the funding that we have provided and the assurances about the budget deficit, which we have a long-term plan to reduce, Police Scotland has been able to maintain the 1,000 additional officers.
As I said, the budget discussions for 2021-22 continue, but I see no reason why officer numbers would be reduced, particularly given the pressures that there will be on policing in the next 12 months.