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Scotland's Chief Statistician has published statistics on Police Officer Quarterly Strength, which gives the number of full-time equivalent police officers employed by Police Scotland.
The key findings of the statistics are:
there were 16,363 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 31 December 2023
police officer numbers decreased by 250 FTE officers (-1.5%) in the last quarter from 30 September 2023
police officer numbers decreased by 282 FTE officers (-1.7%) in the last year from 31 December 2022
this is an increase of 129 FTE police officers (+0.8%) from the 16,234 FTE police officers recorded at 31 March 2007
Police officer numbers have decreased significantly in the last quarter
Chart 1: Total number of Police Officers (Full-time Equivalent) in Scotland, 2007-23
The statistics in this release are based upon quarterly returns made by Police Scotland to the Scottish Government, and are a by-product of live administrative processes, generated directly from the HR systems. The data return provides a snapshot of police strength at the end of the quarter. The published police officer figures are sourced from Police Scotland's personnel records and as such the quality and reliability is good.
The next edition in the series, Police Officer Quarterly Strength Scotland, 31 March 2024, will be published on Tuesday 7 May 2024.
Police Scotland publish Management Informationwhich includes sub-national breakdown of officers and police staff by division.
The publication file (.xlsx) is available to download below.