Since March last year, the number of police officers in Tayside police has increased by 21, to 1,175.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was at Dundee police headquarters to meet two of the Tayside force’s new police recruits. Mr MacAskill said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to a greater visible police presence, deterring crime and reassuring our citizens.

“This increase in the number of officers in the Tayside force is in part the result of our direct recruitment of new officers and aganst a backdrop of a large number of retirals. The force now has 21 more officers working to make Tayside safer.

“Last year, as we promised, 150 officers were recruited and paid for by the Scottish Government for our police forces and are currently working in Scotland’s communities. 

“This year we are directly funding the recruitment of another 450 over and above forces’ previous plans, some of which will further help swell the ranks of the Tayside force.

“We inherited the lowest recruitment since devolution with many officers due to retire. We’ve tackled that challenge head on and we are confident that the resources and policies now in place will deliver improved policing for Scotland.

“We have set out plans to deliver a more visible policing presence on Scotland’s streets and make an additional 1,000 officers available in our communities. We are not just delivering on this but going substantially beyond, by also looking at recruitment, retention and redeployment.”

Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick and Cllr JIm Barrie, who is a member of the Tayside Police Joint Board are pictured with Kenny MacAskill and two of the new recruits, PC Gary Lamb and PC Beverley Symon at Tayside Police HQ.