CLYDEBANK MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government’s next policing budget will be increased by over £42 million.

The figures announced for 2019/20 will see more than £1.2 billion ring-fenced for Police Scotland.

Police officer numbers north of the border have increased by 5.6 per cent since 2007, in comparison to a 13.8 per cent drop in England and Wales.

And the Scottish Government are carefully considering the implications for the Force of leaving the EU after Brexit.

Intensive preparation is underway in consultation with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland, who are responsible for operational policing decisions.

Read more: Gil Paterson MSP in call for budget to be backed

Mr Paterson told the Post: “We are fortunate to have a police service here in Clydebank that works tirelessly to make the town safer for everyone.

“The UK Tory government’s totally shambolic approach to Brexit remains a threat to all our public services and the Scottish government is very clear that the cost of any detrimental effect should be paid for by the Westminster government.

“The police force in Scotland have still not received a refund of the £125 million they were charged in VAT by the UK government, between 2013 and 2018 when no other police force in the UK paid VAT.

“These charges were grossly unfair and should be refunded to our police service now.”