Crime and Antisocial Behaviour (Highlands and Islands)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 31 January 2024.

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Photo of Siobhian Brown Siobhian Brown Scottish National Party

As I said in my previous answer, between last year and this year, the number of officers increased by 44.

Since 2017-18, we have tripled the capital budget for policing, which has supported continued investment in police assets. Responsibility for the allocation of those resources and for the management of the police estate, including police station closures, sits with the Scottish Police Authority and the chief constable.

I agree with Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, who has stated:

“Our presence in communities is not defined by buildings but by the officers and staff who work there”.

That is an important point.

We have already introduced technology that enables our officers to remain in local areas and reduces the need for them to return to police stations to deal with paperwork. In essence, we want officers to spend more time in communities, and the role of modern policing does not mean that they should be tied to a station.