POLICE Scotland made almost 200 serious errors while responding to calls for help in less than 18 months, according to a new analysis. 

A study of official found that 182 errors  weredeemed serious enough to have a "signficant impact" on the force's reputation occurred between August 2017 and last December.

They included 62 cases of officers going to the wrong address and 81 errors that led to delays in police attending a 999 or 101 call.

Among the most serious matters were not responding to a warning about missing person who was later found dead, and a member of the public threatening self-harm being treated as a "false call".

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Other issues recorded were an assault victim being told to go to an unmanned station to report the incident and officers failing to attend a domestic abuse call.

The Scottish Conservatives, that published the data obtained through Freedom of Information said the number of incidents and their seriousness demonstrated the pressure Police Scotland is under amid a £56.2 million shortfall in its capital budget this year.

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservatives' shadow justice minister criticised SNP ministers for refusing to fund "crucial" IT upgrades and failing to support staff during the "poorly executed" merger of the previous regional forces.

The research found that there were  191 "notable incidents" between August 2017 and December 2018 including officers attending wrong addresses.

Nine highlighted good practice while there were 182 regarding concerns. Of these, 62 involved officers going to the wrong address and 81 led to a delay in police attendance.

During the 18 months, Police Scotland dealt with 3,425,123 emergency and non-emergency calls, with noticeable incidents raised equating to fewer than 0.006% of calls.

Mr Kerr said: "In an organisation the size of Police Scotland, there will always be incidents involving human error.

"But this research sets out scores of cases which, frankly, should never have happened.

"Brave police officers and staff are doing a great job to the best of their abilities, but all too often their needs and welfare have gone ignored."

He called for the Scottish Government to provide "adequate support", adding: "It's this sort of environment in which mistakes occur."

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Chief Superintendent Roddy Newbigging said: "We are committed to openness and transparency and designed our notable incident process to allow us to pinpoint areas where we can improve the service we offer.

"This has been a positive piece of work which identifies where we can offer additional training, change our processes or share organisational learning with our staff.

"These reports are also used to identify examples of good work and share best practice among officers and staff working within C3 division and the rest of the organisation.

"Between August 2017 and December 2018 we received 3,425,123 calls to 101 and 999 and fewer than 0.006% resulted in a notable incident form being completed."

A spokesman for Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "The Tories have zero credibility on this issue, after voting against an increase in the police budget - and their role in failing to pay back millions of pounds in VAT, which could be invested in Police Scotland."

He said the Tories themselves admitted the cases highlighted amounted to a "tiny fraction" of those handled over the period in question.

The spokesman added: "Following the Government-initiated review of police call handling, these rare incidents are now being identified and acted upon."