Police must be able to protect us - it’s up to Scottish Government to properly fund force

Police Scotland
-Credit: (Image: EK NEWS)

Scotland’s national constabulary has struggled from its inception. The old regional police forces were merged into one in 2013, a time when public services were beginning to feel the strain of Conservative-imposed austerity at Westminster.

The new Police Scotland underwent a drastic round of cost-cutting that saw dozens of police stations closed and support staff roles left unfilled. Policing had to adapt to the digital age and a new range of increasingly complex online crimes.

It has been a tough decade for ­frontline officers but most people ­understand they work hard in a difficult job and routinely put themselves at risk. The latest survey of rank-and-file officers by the Scottish Police Federation provides a worrying glimpse into the problems they routinely face.

The SPF warns cops are quitting due to a lack of resources and heavy workloads. It believes this could cause serious problems for the recruitment of new officers and keeping experienced cops in jobs.

Many senior officers worked through the Covid years out of a sense of public duty despite being eligible to retire. Since 2022, many older cops have jumped at the chance to get out, placing a bigger burden on those that remain.

The demands on our police force are increasing at a time when public ­confidence is sliding. Policing is Holyrood’s responsibility. It’s up to the Scottish Government to ensure the service is properly funded.

The frontline officers are unsung heroes and deserve better support from those in charge – both at ­Holyrood and police HQ.

Oblivion awaits

So Nigel Farage has slithered back on to the front line of UK politics. After a tedious will-he-won’t-he routine, Farage said not only is he standing again in Clacton but he’s also taking over leadership of Reform UK.

There will be few in Scotland who care about this charlatan’s return – the daftie who fooled folk into believing his Brexit fantasy never had much support here. But there is one good thing about his return to frontline politics – it’s the doomsday scenario for Rishi Sunak.

With Labour in the centre ground and a Farage-led Reform hoovering up votes from Brexit true believers, the PM has been brutally outmanoeuvred. When Sunak gambled on a summer General Election a fortnight ago he can’t have imagined it would go this badly.

The Tory campaign was and is a ­shambles. This is just the latest disaster but it’s one that could crush them into electoral oblivion – and guarantee a bumper majority for Keir Starmer. At last Farage is doing something worthwhile – even if it is by accident.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.