Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 11:06 UK

Record police numbers on streets

Police jacket
Another 19 recruits are expected to join the force by November

The number of police officers patrolling communities in the Highlands and Islands has reached record levels, the region's chief constable has said.

Northern Constabulary covers an area equal in size to Belgium, and includes the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

The recruitment of new constables saw the number of officers rise from 787 in March to 801 by August.

Chief Constable Ian Latimer told the Northern Joint Police Board there would be a further 19 recruits by November.

He said: "We now have record numbers of police officers on our streets, providing greater visibility and reassurance to our communities."

The figures were included in Mr Latimer's newly-published public performance report.

He also reported that savings of £3.4m were made by the force last year.

Meanwhile, Northern Constabulary has also drawn up a draft policy aimed at ensuring its future buildings are energy efficient and environmentally-friendly.

The force hopes the draft sustainable construction statement will help it meet Scottish Government targets on tackling climate change.

It comes as a new £1.6m station in Nairn nears completion.

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