THE SNP Government should hand an extra £62 million to Police Scotland to help halt rising levels of violent crime, the Conservatives have said.

Douglas Ross’ party want the Scottish Government to boost the force’s capital funding when Kate Forbes delivers her draft Budget on Thursday.

The Tories want the extra funding to be handed over after Police Scotland was handed only a £500,000 increase in last year’s Budget, despite the force requesting an £85.7 million capital funding pot last year.

The party wants to see the increased funding put towards crime-fighting equipment, police cars and stations.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would receive an extra £8 million of capital funding to improve fire engines and stations under the party’s plans.

The Scottish Conservatives are also calling for an extra £13.2 million for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to help clear the court backlog, and £4.3 million to be allocated to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to fund the extra staff they need to prosecute criminals.

The Scottish Conservatives would also reverse the SNP’s cut to the victim support budget which was reduced by £500,000 from £18.7 million to £18.2 million last year and instead boost its funding to record levels.

The Conservatives have pointed to figures showing that between April and October, 5,732 non-sexual violent crimes were recorded – a slight increase on the 2019 figure for the same period of 5,646. The number of violent crimes recorded in 2019-20 hit an eight-year high with 9,316 incidents recovered.

The number of violent crimes had risen for each of the previous five years up to 2019-20.

READ MORE: More than 100 rookie police recruits deployed during COP26 climate summit

Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson, Liz Smith, said: “This funding is desperately needed to keep the public safe.

“Scotland’s justice system has suffered from years of under-investment by the SNP Government, with police stations left crumbling, cuts to victim support and a growing backlog in courts that forces victims to wait years for justice.

“There is no time to lose. The SNP must tackle rising levels of violent crime, keep the public safe and put victims at the heart of Scotland’s justice system.”