Police Scotland has one of the lowest budgets for vehicles, buildings, computers and other kit of any force in the UK, the House of Commons library has found.

The independent analysis ranked the force 38th out of the UK’s 42 police services in terms of capital investment per employee.

Police Scotland received £1526 for each employee, less than half the UK average of £3535.

Despite being the second largest force in the UK, Police Scotland trailed far behind the largest, the Metropolitan Police, where funding was £10,857 per employee.

Police Scotland, which is funded by the Scottish Government via the Scottish Police Authority, received £34 million of capital spend in 2017/18.

If it been funded in line with the national average for UK forces, it would have been around £77m.

Scottish Labour, which obtained the figures from the library, said Police Scotland was getting a “raw deal” from SNP ministers.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone also admitted his force required “significant capital funding to address historic under-investment in policing” and extracting it from government w a s a “challenge”.

The figures reinforce a series of warnings from opposition parties and the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) about clappedout cars and crumbling police stations.

The SPF last week said that patrol car breakdowns were “commonplace”.

The Scottish Police Authority, the oversight body which holds the force’s budget, also flagged shortfalls in the capital budget for 2019/20 in one of its meetings last month.

It said the cash from government was “significantly less than required” to deliver long-term goals and “maintain core assets” at £43m, compared to £99m assumed in financial plans.

A key worry are the many inefficient and poorly integrated police IT systems that are now reaching the end of their life and must be replaced.

Without the right funding there is “a clear risk” to the delivery of the force’s long-term strategy and “operational impacts from ageing assets”.

Police Scotland also spends around £9 per square metre each year maintaining its buildings and estate.

The UK police service average is £38. Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said: “Police Scotland is lagging behind similarly sized forces in other parts of the UK. You can’t keep people safe on the cheap, but when it comes to investing in our police force the Scottish government’s promise to protect budgets is simply shallow spin.

“Police need the equipment and resource to do their jobs properly, and the investment they need to fight new generations of crimes, such as cyber.”

Commons experts based their figures on total staff numbers, both officers and civilians.

Police Scotland has about 22,370 employees, compared to some 39,730 at the Met.

Chief Constable Livingstone said: “Across a multitude of demands, we are prioritising the capital budget we have been allocated and are investing in the right areas to achieve as much as we can, as quickly as we can.

“Police Scotland requires significant capital funding to address historic under investment in policing. Our challenge is to make the case to the Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Government.”

SPF general secretary Calum Steele said the capital allocation for Police Scotland was “derisory”.

He said: “It’s beyond disgraceful that the Scottish Police Authority has remained mute, while the Scottish Government seeks solace from words that give the false impression that the funding it provides is significant.”

A spokesman for Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Our £1.2bn funding for Police Scotland this year includes a 52% increase in the capital budget to fund essential investment in IT infrastructure and support mobile working for officers, allowing them to access information remotely a n d s p en d mo r e t i m e i n communities.”

The Scottish Police Authority declined to comment.