Police Scotland has announced all training and intake will be paused during the festive period.
The decision will allow trainee staff to support frontline workers and perform operational duties over the Christmas and New Year duration.
Training will be paused from December 1 to January 31, 2024, the force said.
The intake of around 200 probationary constables, who were due to start in January, has also been postponed.
Bosses said the 200 probationers who took their oath in September, will finish their training in December before deployment.
The decision comes after the force had to reduce their budgeted officers from 17,234 to 16,600.
Fiona Taylor, deputy chief constable designate, said that the “hard” choice was made to maintain effective policing within the funding available.
“As I outlined during the Scottish Police Authority board meeting in September, we have been closely assessing the officer recruitment profile for 2023-24 and I have now taken the decision to reprofile the planned intakes over the rest of the year by postponing the January course.
“Despite the funding pressures we’re facing, communities should be reassured that we are doing everything possible to direct resources to areas which encounter the greatest demand, and which carry the greatest risk, and that we continue to effectively reduce harm and protect the vulnerable,” she said.
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