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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Call to increase police spending
Police officers
The police federation urged ministers for increased funding
Police spending in Scotland is "significantly" lower than in the rest of the UK, a new study has claimed.

The Scottish Police Federation report said 20% more was spent on police in England and 13% more in Wales per head of population.

The body, which speaks for the majority of officers, claimed Scottish forces had been under funded since devolution.

The SNP government said it was committed to delivering more police on the streets.

The study, undertaken by the finance expert Arthur Midwinter, stated that police spending per person in 2006-07 in England amounted to 255, compared to 213 in Scotland.

The report came as the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee prepared to embark on an inquiry on police resources.

This has arisen as a direct result of [Scottish] Executive decisions on political priorities, rather than anything done by Whitehall or local government
Arthur Midwinter
Report author

The police federation's general secretary, Joe Grant, claimed the research had backed up long-standing funding concerns.

"It is well known that every major public service in Scotland spends significantly higher amounts than it's counterparts in England," he said.

"The police have never reached parity far less enjoyed the benefits from this arrangement. If we had been fairly treated we would have been able to deliver a much higher quality police service in Scotland.

"That is what we want to do now. That is why it has got to be sorted out now."

'More powers'

Prof Midwinter said that, overall, police expenditure in the UK was 21% higher than in Scotland.

"The research reveals that police expenditure per capita in Scotland is significantly lower than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland," he said.

"This has arisen as a direct result of [Scottish] Executive decisions on political priorities, rather than anything done by Whitehall or local government."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the administration was happy to look at the report's findings, but could not pre-empt the outcome of the forthcoming spending review of public services.

"However, we can continue to look at ways of giving police officers more time and powers to tackle crime on the streets with schemes like fixed penalty notices," said the spokeswoman, who added that 1.1bn was currently spent on policing per year.

"The people of Scotland want to see more police on the streets. The Scottish Government is committed to delivering just that."

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