The Scottish Government’s target to deliver 1,000 additional police officers by March is set to be “comfortably exceeded”, after resuming the recruitment process that had been on pause following Westminster budget cuts.

Figures from forces across Scotland have shown that new recruits have boosted numbers across the nation to beyond the government’s 17,234 target. Tulliallan Police College is currently training 51 probationers, with 124 new recruits due to start training next week, and 117 set to start at the beginning of April.

The Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said that the additional police would provide resolute support and security to the nation’s communities.

“Official projections show that hundreds of new recruits will help police numbers rise yet further to comfortably exceed the 1,000 additional officers target in March and increase again in June,” he said.

Official police officer numbers will reach 17,270 by the end of March – 1,036 above the 31 March 2007 baseline – with numbers expected to increase further to 17,292 by the end of June.

Mr MacAskill added that the figures were a demonstration of the government’s commitment to maintaining the excellence the police force has shown in helping to drive recorded crime to a 32-year low.

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