The number of police officers serving in the Highlands and Islands divisional area has fallen in recent months.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has expressed concern after the publication of a report which shows that the numbers serving in the region had gone down by 13.

Mr Cameron said: “Community policing is highly valued in the Highlands and Islands but that cannot be sustained if police numbers are under pressure.

“Compared to other regions across Scotland, our region seems to be doing the worst, with a reduction in the last recorded quarterly figures of 13 officers.

The Scottish Conservative MSP added: “Many locals have been very disturbed by the amalgamation of Scotland’s regional police forces, and the centralisation of the service.

“These figures appear to confirm that the SNP Government is continuing to prioritise the Central Belt and is neglecting the concerns of residents of rural Scotland.”