By | July 27, 2019



The SNP has said the Tory government must “cough up” hundreds of millions owed to Scotland for police funding.

Joanna Cherry QC MP said the UK government still owed the Scottish Government a refund of the £125million paid by Police Scotland in VAT between 2013 and 2018, and was yet to outline or hand-over a single penny of the funding Scotland is due to receive in Barnett consequentials from the UK government’s announcement on policing – estimated to be over £100million.

The SNP Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson said Boris Johnson was “playing catch up” with the SNP record on policing, and said the Tory government’s announcement that it will recruit 20,000 police officers for England and Wales was long-overdue and would only partially reverse the Tory cuts made to policing over the past decade.

Home Office figures show that forces in England and Wales lost 20,564 officers as a result of Tory government cuts between March 2010 and March 2019. In contrast, the SNP government has increased the number of police officers in Scotland by over 1000 despite Tory cuts. The total number of police officers in Scotland was 17,251 as of 31 March 2019 – an increase of 1,017 police officers (+6.3%) from the position inherited in 2007.

Under the SNP, Scotland has more police officers per head of population than England and Wales. In September 2018, there were around 32 officers per 10,000 population in Scotland, compared to around 21 officers per 10,000 population in England and Wales. None of the Conservatives, Labour or Lib Dems pledged to increase officer numbers at the last Scottish Parliament election in 2016.

While knife crime and others crimes have soared in England and Wales under the Tories, the recent Scottish Crime and Justice Survey shows that crime has fallen by more than two-fifths (42%) since 2008/09, under the SNP government.

Commenting, SNP Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson, Joanna Cherry QC MP said:

“It’s time for the UK government to finally cough up the hundreds of millions it owes Scotland in missing police funding – after a decade of Tory cuts.

“The UK government’s u-turn on police numbers in England and Wales is long-overdue. Even if it is fully implemented it will only partially reverse the cuts the Tories have already made, and it won’t undo the damage the Tories have done through years of starving the police of vital funding.

“Boris Johnson is playing catch up with the SNP’s record on policing. While the Tories have slashed police numbers by more than 20,000 in England and Wales, the SNP government has increased the number of police officers in Scotland significantly – ensuring more officers per head and delivering a 42% fall in recorded crime.

“The SNP’s commitment to Scottish policing is clear – the Tories must match it and start by repaying the £125million still owed to Police Scotland in overdue VAT refunds.”

UK Government short-changing Scotland’s emergency services –