Spending cuts have meant Strathclyde Police, Scotland’s largest force, has imposed an instant recruitment freeze, The Scotsman has reported.
Strathclyde Police said the move was due to uncertainty over public sector budgets and said it could face cuts of up to 10% of its budget of around £450m next year. The announcement means a planned intake of 100 probationary officers to the Scottish Police College between August and October will now not go ahead.
John Gillies, HR director at Strathclyde Police, said: “While we don’t know exactly the scale of the cuts we will be facing, early indications are it could be anywhere up to 10% of our budget in the next financial year.
“We have to prepare for that. We have more or less stopped recruiting police staff over the past few months, and today we are formalising that.”
Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman, Richard Baker, said Strathclyde’s recruitment freeze had resulted because the force had been “let down by the Scottish government”.
He added: “For the past year, Strathclyde Police Authority has been warning they were not receiving adequate funding to maintain recruitment. I wouldn’t be surprised if others forces followed suit with a freeze on recruitment. There will then be real concerns about the impact this will have on community policing.”