Police finances will come under the Holyrood spotlight again when the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing questions the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.
The Sub-Committee has already heard evidence from policing authorities and staff associations as part of their draft budget scrutiny – all of whom agreed there were cost pressures currently facing the service.
Issues which were previously raised, likely to be put to the Cabinet Secretary, include the forecast deficit of £27.5m faced by Police Scotland, the claim by Chief Superintendent Gordon Crossan that an extra £80 million is needed to deliver policing services, Police Scotland’s status as the only UK force with a VAT liability, the IT inefficiencies and consequent extra costs, and the funding of community services which impact on policing.
Justice Sub-Committee Convener, Mary Fee MSP, said:
“We heard concerns during the first session we held on the police budget – from both those at the operational and managerial levels of policing in Scotland. Although there was no clear consensus from our panel, there was agreement that there are significant cost pressures on Police Scotland.
“We will be asking the Cabinet Secretary how he intends to ensure that the Police service has the resources to continue as the ‘service of first response and last resort’ and the actions he will take to address the issues we heard about, and to influence positive changes to Policing Scotland.”
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