Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has expressed concerns following the release of statistics which show that residents believe there has been a decline in police patrols in Tayside.
The information, contained in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, reveals that the percentage of people in Tayside (‘D’ Division) who feel there is not enough police presence in their area increased from 38.8 in 2012-13 to 43.6 in 2016-2018.
And the percentage of Tayside residents who feel that the local police do not patrol their community regularly increased from 30.4 in 2012-13 to 42.1 in 2016-18.
Data from the survey, which was published this week, also revealed that only 13% of Tayside residents in 2016-18 believed the local police force regularly patrolled their community on foot.
And only 1.5% of Tayside residents felt the local police regularly patrolled their area by bicycle in 2016-18.
The survey began in 2012, the year prior to Police Scotland being created.
Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, expressed his concerns at the alarming figures produced by the survey.
Commenting, he said: “Since the SNP merged local police forces, people across Tayside have noticed fewer and fewer police officers on our streets.
“We know that the number of constables on frontline duties has reduced since Police Scotland was created. Local police presence is essential to prevent and detect criminal behaviour.”
He continued: “Under the SNP Scottish Government, we are seeing an increasingly soft-touch approach to justice. The SNP must give Police Scotland the resources it needs to keep residents safe.”
*From 2016 onwards, responses from two survey years were combined to provide more robust estimates at a police division level, Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services said.