Budget threat to community policing work

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COMMUNITY policing in and around Edinburgh could be at risk if there are further cuts to the police budget, Scotland’s public spending watchdog warned today.

The Audit Scotland “best value” report on Lothian and Borders Police – produced jointly with HM Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland – praised the force for its “highly regarded” approach to community policing, which is seen as helping to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

The report said: “The force has maintained its commitment to community policing despite budgetary constraint elsewhere and this remains a high priority area for this force.”

However, it warned: “There remains a risk to this commitment across the force, with potential consequences to the success of community policing in Lothian and Borders, should either local authority or police budgets be reduced further.”