The number of police officers in Scotland has risen over the last year, according to official statistics.
Between March 31, 2018 and March 31 this year, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) officers increased by 81, to a total of 17,251.
The figures include a rise of 77 FTE officers in the last quarter from December 31 last year.
Since March 2007, the number of FTE police officers in Scotland has risen by 1,017 from a total of 16,234.
The numbers are however lower than the high of almost 17,500 FTE officers who were employed at the start of 2013.
— ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) March 1, 2019
The Scottish Government allocated more than £1.2 billion in its budget for policing in 2019/2020, with a 3.7% increase in the SPA’s budget expected to bring an additional £42.3 million to the service.
In February, a letter was sent by the Scottish Government to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, calling for any additional costs related to the policing of Brexit to fall to the UK Government.
Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, said: “Police officer numbers in Scotland remain significantly above the level in 2007 – in comparison to a drop of 20,000 officers in England and Wales.
“This most recent increase reflects Police Scotland’s additional recruitment of officers in February to prepare for a range of Brexit-related contingencies.
“We remain committed to protecting the police revenue budget in real terms in every year of this Parliament, delivering an additional £100 million over that period.
“Ministers have been clear that any costs related to EU exit should not have a detrimental impact on Scotland’s public finances and should be met by the UK Government in full.”