Police officer numbers in Scotland have fallen to their lowest level in nine years.
The constable count has dropped below the Scottish Government minimum, a policy which was dumped by the SNP in 2016.
In the first three months of this year, Police Scotland had the equivalent of 17,170 full-time officers, according to official statistics published on Tuesday.
The last time it was lower was in the same period in 2009, when the total was 17,048.
The Scottish Conservatives said it is “massively disappointing” the numbers have dropped below the level guaranteed by the SNP between 2007 and 2016.
Tory MSP Liam Kerr said: “The reason the Scottish Conservatives helped secure this pledge was to ensure a greater police presence in our communities and to help tackle crime.
“The SNP have demonstrated time and again that their priorities lie elsewhere, and have chosen to stick many of our policemen and women in back office roles.”
Alex Salmond’s administration pledged that officer numbers would be 1,000 higher than at the point they came to power, which amount to 17,234.
The 2016 manifesto said the “nature of crime is changing” and more non-officer roles such as cyber-crime specialists are required.
The Scottish Government has repeatedly denied that back-filling takes place, a practice that protects officer numbers through giving them back-office roles.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said the policing strategy is about providing the right balance of civilian and support staff to frontline officers.
“Today’s figures confirm this plan is taking effect and they have signalled that a number of officers have been freed up from back-office roles to ensure the frontline is maintained and enhanced, as outlined in the strategy,” he said.
Meanwhile, politicians reacted to a BBC documentary aired on Monday night, which alleged that negative parts of an internal report from 2014 into unlawful and bad police practices were suppressed.
Mr Matheson faced demands to order a review into apparent senior leadership interference in the report, early drafts of which referred to unauthorised surveillance and witness intimidation.
The justice secretary said the Scottish Police Authority would look into it.
Earlier, a Holyrood committee was told that the cost of merging British Transport Police in Scotland into the national force is still not known.