Disappointment at lack of support from LibDems and Tories
The SNP has welcomed the passing of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill at stage one on the Scottish Parliament.
It was passed despite five Lib Dem MSPs voting against it and 13 Tory MSPs abstaining.
SNP MSP for Glasgow Humza Yousaf, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, said: “The passing of this bill at stage one is the next step in ensuring we provide the best possible police and fire services for our country.
“The reforms, which are necessary due to the Tory-Lib Dem cuts from Westminster, will protect the achievements we have made so far and enhance our already outstanding police and fire services.
“The SNP is committed to safeguarding our frontline services and making improvements to benefit Scotland’s communities.
“A single service will strengthen the link with communities and give a new role to councils in shaping local services.
“Not only this, but all areas in Scotland will have access to national expertise and assets – which will serve to enhance our services at a local level.
“I am also pleased the Cabinet Secretary for Justice recognised the committee’s calls to appoint the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer as early as possible.
“Crime in Scotland is down to its lowest level since 1976, helped by the 1,000 extra police officers on our streets the length and breadth of Scotland.
“While the Tories and Lib Dems are busy slashing police numbers in England, the SNP Government is continuing with its plans to make our country’s communities, homes and neighbourhoods safer."
93 MSPs voted yes for the Bill while five Lib Dems voted no and 13 Tory abstentions.