Martin Whitfield MSP has joined Scottish Labour colleagues in raising the alarm over ‘dangerous and disastrous’ real term cuts imposed by the Scottish Government on justice budgets.
The cuts proposed by the SNP-Green government would see millions taken from key budgets and real terms cuts to vital services such as Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and legal aid and the courts.
Police Scotland have warned that around 4,400 staff roles could be lost due to these cuts.
Mr Whitfield is backing calls for Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and Trade Unions to come together to ensure mass lay-offs within the police force do not come to pass.
Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“Every part of Scotland deserves access to a properly funded and functioning criminal justice system – but the Scottish Government’s dangerous and disastrous cuts threaten its very existence.
“The current government has repeatedly undermined the justice system here in East Lothian. First Prestonpans police station was closed to the public. Then a public campaign was needed to halt the closure of Tranent police station’s front desk. That was followed by the biggest blow of all when Haddington’s court was closed, ending hundreds of years of local justice.
“On top of all that, police resources in places like East Lothian have slowly been hollowed out, much to the frustration of local communities.
“This latest cut to justice services, the biggest in the history of devolution, will further decimate the justice system and only lead to poorer outcomes for people across society.
“Ministers need to rethink their proposed cuts and ensure that Police Scotland has the resources necessary to keep people safe in East Lothian and across Scotland.”