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4 August 2015, 13:09
A flagship Scottish Government pledge on police numbers continues to be met despite a slight fall in officer numbers.
At the end of June, Police Scotland had the equivalent of 17,272 full-time officers on the force, a drop of 23 from the previous quarter and 46 fewer than the same time in 2014.
The figures, published by the Scottish Government, show the SNP has continued to meet its pledge of providing 1,000 additional officers.
The number of police in Scotland is now up by 6.4% - 1,038 officers - when compared to the end of March 2007.
Community safety minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "Recorded crime is at a 40-year low, with violent crime down 52% and crimes of handling an offensive weapon (including knives) down 62% since 2006-07.
"These strong statistics are backed by over 1,000 extra police officers that this government has delivered since 2007.
``However, on behalf of the Scottish Government I want to thank all the officers and their support staff within Police Scotland for all they do to prevent and detect crime, for protecting the public and for helping to ensure communities across Scotland are safer.
"This publication shows police officer numbers continue to exceed targets and demonstrates that, through working in partnership with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, we continue to honour the commitment we gave to the people of Scotland to deliver 1,000 additional officers.
"By contrast, in England and Wales police numbers have already fallen by over 15,000 since 2007 to their lowest level since 2001, and are expected to drop even further."