Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The First Big One....

In the SNP’s manifesto it said “We will set out plans in our first Budget for Scotland for 1000 more police and will encourage Chief Constables to focus these new resources on community policing.”

Yesterday, the Justice Minister explained that these would not all be "new" officers. Instead, the 1,000 officers would be made up from 500 new recruits and 500 redeployed from other duties or brought out of retirement. Added to which because there are 2,300 officers due for retirement in the next four years, he could not guarantee that the ranks of the Scottish police force would swell by a single officer in the next four years.

Mr MacAskill, the minister said in the SNP’s defence said: "You don't collect police officers like toy soldiers, you don't have a bragging contest about the precise number you have if they are located behind desks or doing needless jobs. What matters is delivering and we are delivering 1,000 new officers into our communities through recruitment, retention and redeployment, and we believe that all three are equally important. What we are delivering is 1,000 officers into our communities that were not there before - they are additional officers in our communities.”

No matter how you dress it up Kenny, and he should know how to dress things up because he is after all a lawyer, it is not 1,000 more police. It was never a promise that it was just 1,000 police officers in communities, it was 1,000 new police and these would all be in the community. Nowhere did they talk about redeployment in the manifesto.

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