POLICE officers are leaving “in their droves” it has been warned as morale in the service is plummeting according to the body representing rank and file staff.

David Kennedy, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, warned of a “timebomb” with officers leaving.

Speaking at the Scottish Labour Party Conference, he hit out over station closures and a lack of focus on community policing.

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Mr Kennedy said police numbers in Scotland are falling and predicted the number was rising.

He said: “For me, morale is at its lowest. It is absolutely dreadful at the moment.

“We know because people are leaving in their droves.

With pension changed people are saying they’ve had enough.

“They are basically done in.”

He said there are 1000 fewer police officers, adding “We believe that number will be closer to 1600 officers.”

He said the biggest complaint was resources and also the state of police stations.

How resources are directed, he said was a concern, adding: We would like to see the resources going back to community policing”.

In the greater Glasgow Area, a number of police stations are earmarked for closure.

Mr Kennedy said stations are being closed because they have not been maintained.

He added: “You only need to look at the stations they want to close. They are in a state of disrepair, that is why they are closing.”

He told of “walls falling down” and windows taped up.

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, spoke on the panel with Mr Kennedy.

She said: “It blows my mind they want to close Stewart Street, the only city centre police station.”