The number of full-time local police officers in Ayrshire has fallen since the establishment of Police Scotland according to new figures.

Police Scotland revealed today that while centralised resources have seen numbers rise, local divisions have been particularly hard hit by cuts to officers including a fall of 22 full-time officers in Ayrshire since 2013.

The figures come at a time of great uncertainty for Scotland’s hard-pressed police officers.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr recently warned that 700 more officers could be cut from Police Scotland across the country to meet budget requirements.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said:

“The centralisation of policing has led to many communities seeing a reduction in the number of local officers including in Ayrshire. The Ayrshire division covers nearly 370,000 people across over 1300 square miles, so any cut in officers numbers will make an already challenging job of policing a large area even more difficult”. 

Local residents will be concerned over warnings that there will be further cuts in the future as budget pressures continue. 

I have written to the justice secretary asking for an explanation over the cut in Ayrshire and to ask what the Scottish Government are doing to urge the government to ensure these reductions are reversed.

The Scottish Government need to understand that protecting communities cannot be done on the cheap and they have to properly resource policing in Ayrshire.” 

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