The SNP Government finally agreed to keep their promise of 1,000 new police officers on the streets of Scotland.
The caused controversy when they announced plans to recruit 500 new officers and provide the rest through a system of retention and re-deployment. Their manifesto clearly stated that they would recruit 1,000 new officers.
At the time of the controversial announcement they maintained that this is what they always meant. It also transpired that officers who remained in active service after 30 years (a Police officer can retire after 30 years) would be counted as a brand new police Officer. The SNP claimed they were a new officer as Scotland wouldn’t have had that officer had they not stayed on after their 30 years service. The Opposition benches in the Scottish Parliament refused to accept these explanations and continued to lobby the SNP Government into delivering in its promise of 1,000 new police officers on the streets of Scotland by the end of their term of Government in 2011.
It’s still not enough to make a real impact. Scotland needs at least four times the number of officers now being recruited for there to be any real difference made. However, it’s better than the 500 we were going to get!