§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the police force is up to strength in each region in Scotland; and if he will make a statement on the number of police officers returned to the beat.
§ Mr. Ancram
At 31 December 1983, the police strength in seven of the eight Scottish forces was at or near the authorised establishment. In Strathclyde police, the strength was 6,816 as compared with an authorised establishment of 6,954—a shortfall of 138 officers.
The operational deployment of officers is a matter for chief constables, and information about the numbers engaged on foot patrols is not held centrally. Chief constables are, however, giving increased priority to maintaining a visible police presence in the community, and are taking steps to ensure that the maximum number of officers is made available for patrol duties.