Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Law & Order : Scottish Police being trained ‘on the cheap’ as SPSA admits no extra money available

While all of us remember the SNP controlled Scottish Government's pledge to increase Police numbers by 1000, it turns out in an admission by the Scottish Police Services Authority there has actually been no extra funding made available for training by the current administration.

The Scotsman reports :

Police trained 'on the cheap' - Labour

Published Date: 08 April 2009

LABOUR today accused the Scottish Government of trying to train police officers "on the cheap".

The Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) has said in a letter to party justice spokesman Richard Baker that there has been no extra funding for training.

Some courses have also been cut and constables, rather than sergeants, were being used to train recruits.

The Government said last month they would surpass their manifesto pledge to recruit 1,000 more police by 2011.

"These answers prove that training for police officers is being diminished by the SNP," Mr Baker said.

"Refresher courses for one-year qualified recruits have gone, we've got constables rather then higher ranks providing the training and all of this with no extra money for training from government.

"You don't need to be genius to work out that if you are putting more people through a course and the funding does not increase then the spend per recruit is being hit."

The information emerged after Mr Baker tabled a series of questions about the Scottish Police College to ministers – but was instead written to by the Scottish Police Services Authority.

"These young recruits deserve the best training and the police should be getting the money they need to ensure the very highest standards," Mr Baker added.

"No wonder ministers got the SPSA to answer these questions rather than answer themselves. They have admitted that they are trying to do police training on the cheap."

A Scottish Government spokesman said that "significant work" is being undertaken at the Scottish Police College in training record numbers of new police officers.

The SPSA had previously met the costs of the additional training through efficiencies made elsewhere in its operations, the spokesman said.

But he added: "We are planning to provide them with an additional £1.5 million in 2009/10 in recognition that this is not sustainable in the long-term.

"The Justice Secretary has visited Tulliallan and met new recruits who are passing out of the police college.

"These officers are now part of the record number of officers serving in our communities, tackling crime and reassuring our citizens."

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