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The latest police strength statistics have highlighted the contrasting approach to policing in the UK, with the SNP's continuing commitment to increased police numbers standing in stark contrast to Westminster's cuts to the policing budget south of the border.

The first set of police strength statistics under the new single police force has shown that the SNP's promise of delivering 1,000 additional police officers continues to be met, in contrast to the situation south of the border where Westminster has slashed police numbers by thousands to reach their lowest point for 11 years.

The figures show there are 1,090 more police officers serving in Scotland than were in place when the SNP first came to office, with 17,324 police officers protecting communities across the length and breadth of Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart who sits on the Scottish Parliament's policing sub-committee said:

"These latest figures show that the SNP Government’s target of recruiting 1,000 additional police officers has been exceeded again, and show quite clearly why decisions are best taken in Scotland rather than left to Westminster.

"The additional police officers have helped drive crime in Scotland down to a 39 year low, underlining just how important their work has been.

"While short-term fluctuations are an inevitable part of these kinds of statistics, the long term trends show quite clearly that Scotland is still well above its targeted police numbers.

"The situation in Scotland where we have continued to meet our target of delivering additional police officers stands in stark contrast to the situation south of the border, where police numbers have been slashed by thousands to reach their lowest point for the last 11 years.

"It really is a tale of two Governments and underlines once again why it is so important for the Scottish Parliament to be able to make decisions on the issues affecting Scotland."

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