Scottish Conservative MSPs Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith have slammed the SNP Scottish Government who they blame for a fall in police officers in Fife.
The politicians, who both represent the Mid Scotland and Fife region, feel the SNP are continuing to dismantle local, frontline policing.
Statistics on divisional numbers released today by Police Scotland, reveal that police numbers in Fife fell from 814 in the third quarter of the 2018/19 financial year to 802 in the fourth quarter of the same financial year – a drop of 12.
And the number of police officers in Fife has decreased from 839 in the third quarter of the 2013/14 financial year to 802 in the fourth quarter of the 2018/19 financial year - a drop of 37. The 2013/14 figures were the first available after the SNP Scottish Government created Police Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “It will be very concerning to communities across Fife to find out that the number of police officers is down under the SNP.
“Local police presence helps prevent and detect crime while providing a welcome reassurance to the public. It is difficult to maintain confidence that people will be kept safe when numbers are dwindling like this.”
And Liz Smith added: “Under the SNP, we are seeing an increasingly soft-touch approach to justice. The SNP must give Police Scotland the resources it needs to keep us safe.”
Local police officer resources are the core complement of officers under the direction of the Local Commander and include community policing, response policing and divisional road policing teams.
Also included in the local resource figures are officers within the divisional Criminal Investigation Department and Public Protection Units.