1. The first publication of police quarterly strength statistics as Official Statistics was on 2 December 2008. Prior to this publication, figures were collated by the Scottish Government and released through responses to Parliamentary Questions and by depositing the figures in the Scottish Parliamentary Library.
2. Figures include all police officers employed by a force, including those on SPC training, secondment, central service, long-term sick leave and maternity/adoption leave, but excluding those on career breaks.
3. These figures include all police officers employed by the eight Scottish police forces, but do not include police officers employed in Scotland by the British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police or the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
4. The following definitions apply to Table 1:
- Police Officers in Force - includes all officers employed by the force as well as those on Scottish Police College (SPC) training, long-term sick leave and maternity/adoption leave. With effect from the September 2012 publication (of figures to end June 2012), this category also includes officers at ports and airports paid either wholly or partially by the port/airport authority, and additional officers either wholly or partially funded by the local authority or an external body (previously categorised as Additional Regular Police).
- Central Service - includes all officers seconded to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS), Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), Scottish Government or similar posts.
- SCDEA/SPSA - includes all officers seconded to the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA), Scottish Police College, Forensic Services, and the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA).
- Secondments - includes all officers on secondments not otherwise covered, such as to local authorities.
5. The breakdown of figures provided by the forces for the Additional Regular Police deployment category and the Police Officers in Force deployment category was reviewed during summer 2012. The review found that while the overall total number of officers are accurate, the breakdown between these two categories was not consistent between forces across the country. As a result, with effect from the September 2012 publication (of figures to end June 2012), we have combined these two categories and presented them together as Police Officers in Force. This change has no effect on the overall number of police officers.
6. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice.
7. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff - more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About.
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