Nicola Sturgeon has refused to acknowledge the desperate state of Scotland’s police stations, in the same week her justice secretary described concerns as “hyperbole”.
At First Minister’s Questions today, she was challenged about revelations showing mould, leaks and rat infestations in force buildings across the country.
Today, it was reported that the ceiling of a police station in Broughty Ferry had fallen in.
But Ms Sturgeon claimed critics had a “nerve” to raise the matter, and claimed the SNP’s funding of the single force was perfectly adequate.
That’s despite Police Scotland being the fifth-worst funded force in the UK.
Her response has been criticised by the Scottish Conservatives, especially in light of justice secretary Humza Yousaf dismissing the Scottish Police Federation’s fears over the state of police stations.
The UK Government has announced a £1 billion bonus for policing in England, which means the SNP government will receive tens of millions extra in Barnett Consequentials.
That money, the Scottish Conservatives said, should go into protecting officer numbers and improving their working environment.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“Warnings about the condition of police stations have been made year after year, but things only seem to be getting worse.
“No sooner had Humza Yousaf described these perfectly legitimate concerns as ‘hyperbole’ than the ceiling was falling in at his local police station.
“The very least Nicola Sturgeon could have done was slap him down for those ridiculous remarks, and acknowledge how unacceptable it is for police officers and staff to be expected to work safely and effectively in this squalor.
“The UK Government is presenting Nicola Sturgeon with a lifeline in the form of serious money through Barnett Consequentials.
“We need to see that money going into protecting police numbers and improving the conditions they work in.
“But she seems more interested in revisiting the independence argument time and again, stoking up division, and refusing to take responsibility for the things directly under her control.”
Notes to editors:
Hours after justice secretary Humza Yousaf dismissed concerns about the state of police stations as “hyperbole”, the ceiling caved in at the force’s Broughty Ferry station: