Cop numbers in local division below 1,000

Police on the beat in Selkirk High Street.
Police on the beat in Selkirk High Street.

At the end of last year 964 police officers were working solely in the Lothians and Scottish Borders division of Police Scotland.

At the end of March 2013, before the formation of the single force, 2,866 officers worked for Lothian and Borders Police.

The new local division covers the Borders, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian, whereas the former Lothian and Borders Police force also included Edinburgh.

The full-time equivalent (FTE) officer figures reveal that 1,180 officers were employed in the Edinburgh division at the end of 2013.

In addition to the Borders division’s officers, a total of 939 FTE officers are employed at a regional level covering the force’s east region, which includes four divisions, providing support to local policing teams.

Police Scotland also has 1,363 FTE officers operating at a national level, available to assist in specialist areas.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: “Local policing is at the heart of Police Scotland. The creation of a single service has allowed us better flexibility in allocating police officers to the right place at the right time to help keep people safe.

“Police Scotland can now provide improved access to specialist services in support of local policing right across the country, with every division now benefiting from being able to draw in this resource when needed.

“Every division now has access to every kind of specialist support without geographical boundaries. This allows Police Scotland to protect and enhance local policing for our communities.”

She added: “Police Scotland continues to maintain police officer numbers at a minimum of 17,234 to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment and we have a rolling recruitment programme.”