Scots police officer numbers continue to fall

Police officers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In 2007 the SNP pledged to put 1,000 extra officers on Scotland's streets

The number of police officers in Scotland has fallen slightly in the past three months.

Numbers have been dropping since the middle of 2012.

But the total figure still meets the Scottish government's pledge to increase police strength by more than 1,000 from the 2007 total.

At the end of September, there were 17,267 - down 51 from the previous three months.

The figures, collated independently for the Scottish government, showed that on 30 September this year there were 1,033 more police officers employed in Scotland than there were on 31 March 2007.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Recorded crime is at a 39 year low, while this government is continuing to deliver on our commitment to put 1,000 additional police officers in communities. We have met this commitment in every quarter since 2011.

"We have always said that police numbers will fluctuate and this publication shows we are continuing to exceed the target while keeping costs down.

"Alongside Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, we are strongly committed to delivering 1,000 additional officers.

He added: "This is in direct contrast to the picture in England and Wales where police numbers have fallen to their lowest level in since 2001 and are expected to drop by more than 15,000 in total."

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