After Police Scotland announced plans to close several Police stations, including Fettes, Leith, Balerno, the West End and Portobello as well as a p
Councillor Kevin Lang, leader of the Edinburgh Liberal Democrat Council Group, submitted the following motion:
1) Recognises the vital importance of local policing as part of the council’s strategic objectives of empowering communities and keeping people safe.
2) Notes the November 2023 report, submitted by Police Scotland to the Scottish Police Authority Board, setting out the urgent need for additional revenue and capital funding for policing.
3) Notes with concern the conclusions of Police Scotland finance officers that, unless budgets are increased, the organisation will be forced to consider cutting police officer numbers by almost 1,500 nationwide, which the organisation has admitted would involve “a reduction in visible policing” as well as “delays in attending calls for service”.
4) Notes how any reduction in police numbers would come on top of the 5% fall in police officers numbers in the Lothian and Borders division which has already occurred over the last three years.
5) Agrees that the Council Leader should write to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice & Home Affairs to express the council’s support for a proper funding settlement for Police Scotland which would prevent further reductions in police numbers and local service levels, emphasising the particular policing needs of Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital city.”
Edinburgh Western MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said;
“This is very real evidence that Police Scotland is having to make plans to do less going forward as a result of the Scottish Government’s budget decisions.
“As well as the additional stress and burden this will place on officers, the public will not forgive the government if this means fewer crimes are responded to.
“The police service is between a rock and a hard place. They are being forced to make terrible choices because the Scottish Government have expected them to do so much with so little for so long.
“The Scottish Government must support the police service. That means resourcing the service properly and placing the welfare and voices of officers and communities at the centre of decisions about the future.”