Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron has said that the public visibility of the Police in Argyll has drastically declined following the “botched” centralisation of Police Scotland by the SNP Scottish Government.
His comments follow the release of statistics yesterday in the authoritative Scottish Crime and Justice Survey which show that over 40% of the public in Argyll and West Dunbartonshire (L Division) believe there is not enough police presence in the local area. The number of residents aware of Police foot patrols in the divisional area has collapsed from 29% to 15% in just five years, the worst decline in Scotland.
Donald said: “A strong local police presence is essential to prevent and detect criminal behaviour. The visibility of uniformed officers is a vital element in reassuring the public and tackling crime.
“These figures show clearly that the SNP Government completely failed the people of Argyll when they botched the merging of the regional police forces into Police Scotland.
“Practically no-one in Argyll was in favour of the merger but they went ahead with it regardless.
“Once again, we see decisions being taken by SNP ministers which may seem logical for the Central Belt, but make no sense in the Highlands and Islands.
“These figures are dismaying and it is imperative that the Scottish Government takes stock and starts providing the kind of police service that people in our region of Scotland wish to see - and that means greater visibility on the streets of our communities.”