Cop numbers up

editorial image

EAST Renfrewshire’s chief inspector says a rise in police numbers has allowed him to “better address local issues”.

Strathclyde police has seen a rise of 157 officers in the last year, with an increase of 625 since 2007.

Chief inspector Alan Murray told The Extra: “This has enabled us to increase community officers from 27 to 55 which has had great benefit to the area. “We have been able to better address local issues with locally based police offers.

“Anti-social behaviour and disorder were growing problems, but incidences of these have decreased as those concerned know there is a higher police presence”.

MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, James Dornan, has welcomed the news.

“These figures demonstrate the seriousness with which the Scottish government takes the issues of community safety and justice”, he said.

“Recorded crime in Scotland is at the lowest it has been for the last 35 years, and the chance of being a victim of crime is lower in Scotland than anywhere else in Britain.

“That is in no small way due to the fact that we have the highest number of police officers on record — 17, 463.

“I am proud of the police service that we have here in Glasgow and believe that they do an excellent job for our city.

“It’s worth remembering the danger that officers put themselves in when on duty in order to protect the public – they do us a great service and for that we should be thankful and proud.”

However, the news has been met with some dissenting voices in the Labour camp.

Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “There is little point in maintaining police numbers, if police officers are not out on the beat protecting communities, but back behind desks doing the paper work that police staff would have been doing.”

The force’s annual report revealed there were over 1,400 fewer victims of violent crime on the west coast in the past 12 months.

This includes 77 fewer victims of murder and attempted murder, and knife possession has decreased by more than six per cent.

This will be the last Strathclyde police report announced by the Scottish government prior to a new national service will see the eight regional forces merged.