The number of police officers serving in the north, north-east and Tayside has risen, according to new figures.
Statistics published by the Scottish Government yesterday showed an increase in the number of officers working with Northern Constabulary and the Grampian and Tayside forces.
However, overall officer numbers across Scotland fell, prompting Labour accusations that numbers cannot be maintained.
At the end of September, Grampian Police had 1,569 officers, up from 1,532 the previous quarter. Tayside Police had 1,208, up from 1,191. Northern Constabulary saw its number of officers go from 777 to 874.
Aberdeen North MSP Brian Adam said the number of officers in Grampian has gone up by 175 since the SNP came to power in 2007.
He said: “This is excellent news for all residents and business in Aberdeen.
“Thanks to the SNP we have more bobbies on the beat in Grampian than ever before.
“The Scottish Government has been able to provide the resources for more police officers who are keeping our communities safer.”
Across Scotland, police numbers fell. The eight police forces employed 17,217 officers at the end of September, down from 17,278 over the quarter.
The decrease was due to a fall of 87 officers at Strathclyde Police and 20 at Central Police.
Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker said only a few months ago Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill had boasted that the government had reached its target of providing 1,000 extra police early.
He said: “Those boasts seem hollow today. These figures show police numbers are declining and have fallen back below the number promised by the SNP at the election.
“Whatever happens over the next few months on police numbers, the predictions from police forces and local authorities are clear – the current funding allocations from the Scottish Government will mean that police numbers will not be maintained in the long term.”
Mr MacAskill said some fluctuation in police numbers was to be expected. “We are well on track to deliver an increase in police numbers of 1,000 over the lifetime of this parliament, and are well ahead of where our own police force projection study said we would be at this stage,” he said.
“With a year-and-a-half to go, this quarter's figure is just 17 officers short of our target for 2011, and the underlying trend is clearly very strongly upwards.”
Mr MacAskill said between June and September, 271 new officers were trained at the Scottish Police College.
“We have always expected some fluctuation in numbers because of the large number of currently serving officers approaching 30 years' service,” he said.
Liberal Democrat chief whip Mike Rumbles said: “The small rise in officer recruitment in Grampian and Northern police boards is undermined by reports about Northern Constabulary freezing recruitment and inviting staff to apply for early redundancy.
“Ministers must urgently address the funding issues that have led to this.”