Just one police job has been created in the north in the 16 months since force chiefs pledged to redistribute staff, it has emerged.
Police bosses have been warned they must deliver on their promise to decentralise posts this year.
Local authority leaders piled the pressure on the force amid growing frustration at the failure to honour staffing commitments to the area.
Highland Council boss Margaret Davidson said the region should “expect better” than the one police job she said had been created since the promise was made.
In September 2017 Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said “we will do everything we can to decentralise” posts from the central belt and “bring more jobs to places like Inverness”.
At the Scottish Police Authority meeting at which the Inverness police control room was controversially axed, he added: “It’s a completely authentic commitment to do that, identify jobs that can go beyond the central belt to places like Inverness.”
The pledge came amid a row over “broken promises” about the number of jobs to be created in Inverness at the new National Database Enquiry Unit.
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Asked for an update on the decentralisation proposals, the force told The Press and Journal they were “committed to ensuring localism is at the heart of the services”, and that work was under way on “a number of projects”.
Mrs Davidson, an independent councillor, said: “It is about a year since I wrote to the first minister (Nicola Sturgeon) and in response she made a statement that indeed we could be looking at dispersing more Police Scotland jobs throughout the country.
“We have had one post situated in Thurso.
“I believe we should expect better than that.”
Thurso and Northwest Caithness councillor Matthew Reiss, a former chief inspector, believed the promise would be met, but urged the force to make progress.
“I’ve met the chief constable a couple of times when he was acting chief constable and I’m quite sure he meant what he said.
“It is taking more time than we would have liked, but I personally have no doubts that he will deliver. One post has been created at inspector level.
“It’s early days but we’re hoping for progress sooner rather than later.”
Figures released in November showed the force in the Highlands and islands fell by 26 officers from the previous quarter, to its lowest level in a year.
Assistant Chief Constable Angela McLaren said: “We are committed to ensuring localism is at the heart of the services we provide, making the most of the strength we have locally combined with the benefits divisional, regional and national resources can provide across the country.
“Police Scotland has invested in developing national services in locations around Scotland, including the recent go-live of the National Database Enquiry Unit in Inverness, and the establishment of five cyber hubs in various locations including Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee.
“Work is also under way on a number of other projects which will further reinforce Police Scotland’s dedication to providing the best service to the people of Scotland, regardless of where they live and work.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said they welcome the steps being taken to strengthen Police Scotland’s “geographic footprint” across the country, including across the Highlands and Islands.