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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
28 November 2023
Almost 1,500 officer jobs at risk, warns Police Scotland

Further funding would also enable Police Scotland to introduce body-worn cameras | Alamy

Almost 1,500 officer jobs at risk, warns Police Scotland

Police Scotland has warned that almost 1,500 officer jobs are at risk unless the Scottish Government pledges further funding.  

In a report due to be put before the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) on Thursday, the force has asked for an investment of £128m.  

The figure is broken down into £74.5m for extra revenue funding, a £26.4m increase in capital, £5m for its reform budget, and £22.6m for voluntary redundancy and voluntary retirement.   

The funding would also enable Police Scotland to introduce body-worn cameras as well as allow a new community policing model to be developed. But if the extra investment is not granted, they warn it would look at cutting jobs.  

The report follows finance secretary Shona Robison’s comments last week that she had "no doubts" public sector jobs would be cut due to funding pressure.  

The report says: "Tactical, short-term measures would have to be taken to deliver maximum savings."

It continues: "This could see a reduction of up to 1,427 FTE (full-time equivalent roles) by 31 March 2025, which can only be achieved through a continuation of the officer recruitment pause throughout the entire duration of 2024-25, along with an extensive VR/VER (voluntary redundancy/voluntary early retirement) programme.  

"The impact of flat cash could be minimised by implementing a pay freeze for 2024-25 but this would have further operational implications and would still require significant workforce reductions."

The 1,427 police officer jobs at risk make up 6.4 per cent of the force, and if cut it would result in "a reduction in visible local policing", as well as "an inability to increase local policing resources and enhance visibility and public confidence" and "an inability to effectively keep people safe in the online space". 

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