A POLITICIAN took an evening shift on with the police to see first-hand the challenges facing front-line staff in the area.

MP Luke Graham accompanied Inspector Chase and his team across Crieff, Comrie, Auchterarder and Perth.

The Conservative politician thanked the squad for the opportunity and said: “It was an extremely insightful session, allowing me to see first-hand the challenges facing D-Division of Tayside Police.

“Although it was concerning to see the extra funds secured in the budget back in November have yet to work their way to the front-line in terms of officers, support staff and key equipment.

“Officers in Perth & Kinross must cover an enormous geographical area; I will continue to work with MSP colleagues to ensure that any new funds secured are going to the front-line to support our officers and keep our communities safe.

“Support for those individuals suffering from poor mental health is another concern that is being raised time and time again - I will be picking up this issue and working with colleagues to develop solutions."

The night shift started with a briefing in Perth, where he met Sergeant Henderson to speak about the issues facing the division.

The extra funds relate to a £35m VAT refund. Other issues raised included shortage of vehicles, mental health issues, and cuts to civilian staff which means officers have to do more administrative work.