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Scottish Police Authority budget set for 2023/24

CC Iain Livingstone has warned that “hard choices” lie ahead in spite of the improved budget allocation.

Funding for the Scottish Police Authority has been set at £1.449 billion for the 2023/24 financial year.

It represents an improvement on the figure in Scottish Government’s spending review, published earlier in the year, of a flat cash settlement of £1.246 billion for the next five years.

The 2022/23 budget is £1.368 billion.

However, CC Iain Livingstone, although welcoming the improvement, has said that “hard choices lie ahead” in order to remain within the available budget.

Of the allocation, £50.1 million will cover the SPA’s capital budget which focuses on the fleet and tech improvements.

CC Livingstone said: ““We know the financial pressure upon the public sector in the United Kingdom and Scotland and, indeed, upon individuals and families.

“Hard choices lie ahead to deliver effective policing within the revenue budget available and our capital funding remains significantly lower than that needed to progress improvement to our technology, buildings and vehicles.

“However, the budget for 2023/24 is an improvement on the level indicated in the Scottish Government’s resource spending review and a welcome recognition of the significant transformation, saving and enhanced service delivered by Police Scotland.”

Martyn Evans, chair of the SPA, said: “There are clearly very considerable constraints on public spending and policing is not immune to those.

“Today’s budget announcement represents an improved position from May’s Resource Spending Review and we acknowledge that support.

“Difficult choices remain to ensure a balanced budget position next year. We are already working closely with the chief constable and the director of forensic services to consider what will need to be prioritised for the year ahead.”

In his budget announcement, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “As part of this budget, I intend to increase the resources available to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service by £13 million and to our wider justice system by £165 million.

“This will provide resources to tackle court backlogs, strengthen legal aid provision and enable funding for police services to increase by £80 million.”

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