The SNP has been accused of “playing games with community safety for political gain” after it emerged that the Scottish Government had kept quiet about plans to close every police station in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

According to the Scottish Sun, the proposal — codenamed Project Quest — to close a list of Lanarkshire police stations was circulated to bodies including the government earlier this year.

The document lists “proposed surplus stations” including as Rutherglen, Cambuslang, and Blantyre which are based in the South Lanarkshire seat.

The force would “retain and refurbish” three existing “response hub” police stations in Cumbernauld, Lanark and East Kilbride, and set up “multi-agency community hubs at key locations throughout the North and South Lanarkshire council areas.”

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With just five days to go until voters head to the polls for a crucial by-election, the revelation has sparked anger from the SNP's opponents. 

Labour’s Michael Shanks said: “It is shameful that the SNP have attempted to hide the closure of every police station in this constituency from people in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

“Voters deserve honesty from the SNP, instead they’ve played games with community safety for political gain.”

Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Thomas Kerr, said: “This sleekit plan from the SNP is absolutely shocking. Voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve full transparency from the SNP government on what is set to happen to local policing, yet it is clear ministers were trying to keep this under wraps.

“That is typical of the SNP’s secret Scotland. Their centralisation of Scotland’s police force has already led to the lowest number of officers on our streets since 2008, and resulted in the closure of dozens of police stations.

“Voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West should be put in the picture ahead of casting their ballots on Thursday as to whether their constituency is set to bear the brunt of more SNP cuts to local policing.

“The SNP know fine well how damaging it would be for community safety if every police station in this constituency was closed, but shamefully didn’t have the decency to be upfront with voters on this.”

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An SNP party spokesperson said it was for the Scottish Government to comment.

The Scottish Government refused to tell the paper when it was informed of Project Quest, if it backed the plan, and if it had suggested the plans should remain private.

A spokesperson said: “While this is an operational decision, Police Scotland continues to dispose of properties no longer fit for purpose or required for operational policing, while at the same time reinvesting in purpose-built properties to deliver modern premises capable of delivering more joined up public services.”