A CUT in locally-based police officers in two areas of his constituency has been condemned by Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell.
He is seeking an explanation from Police Scotland after newly published figures (2018/19) showed a downward trend in most divisions across the country.
The number of divisional officers in Lothian and Scottish Borders has fallen by 45 to 919 compared to 964 in 2013/14, the first available figures after the SNP Scottish government created Police Scotland.
In the Lanarkshire Division the number of officers has come down 56 from 1465 to 1409 over the same period.
Dumfries and Galloway Division, which covers the south of Mr Mundell's constituency, has shown a small rise of 11 in divisional officers since 2013/14 from 371 to 382.
Mr Mundell stated that while centralisation of some specialist shared services may be a factor that did not compensate for a less visible police presence at community level.
He said: "A recurring and growing concern at my surgeries is that there appears to be fewer officers on the ground in our communities. That situation must be reversed.
"A local police presence helps prevent and detect crime whilst providing welcome reassurance to the public."
Mr Mundell, who plans meetings with senior divisional officers, called on the SNP Scottish government to ensure Police Scotland had resources to maintain or ideally increase community-based policing.
Photo Ninian Reid © https://flic.kr/p/NFbe4d