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  1. Police Scotland has pleaded guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh to failings which 'materially contributed' to the death of a young woman who was found conscious in her car three days after a serious crash. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9965179/Police-Scotland-plead-guilty-contributing-death-woman-days-car-crash.html
  2. SCOTTISH police have tasered a man wielding a baseball bat after two officers were attacked in Paisley. https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1487319/Scottish-police-latest-taser-video-baseball-bat-attack-Paisley-news-Scotland-crime-VN
  3. Police raid in Fraserburgh image captionLast year police staged a series of raids across Scotland, linked to Operation Venetic A crime gang member who was caught after police cracked encrypted phones has been jailed for more than five years. Police said Hugh McHugh was a member of one of the country's "top-tier"groups. A court previously heard his accomplice David Hough was arrested after a raid on a street valium factory in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. Guns and grenades were then seized during a separate raid at a "safe house" in Milton, Glasgow. The probe was linked to Operation Venetic, a Europe-wide investigation which penetrated the top secret EncroChat phone network. Hough, 39, from East Kilbride, and McHugh, 43, from Milton, admitted a charge of being involved in serious organised crime between April and June 2020. 'Hands-on role' Hough, who was jailed for four years for cocaine dealing in 2005, was extradited from Spain last year to face justice. The High Court in Glasgow heard that he was involved in the "business and marketing side" of the drugs lab with McHugh having a "hands-on role". As part of the probe, carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce and codenamed Operation Gadget, two other men, James Dalziel and Eric Morrison junior, also admitted drug offences. Between them Hough, Dalziel and Morrison junior were previously sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. On Friday, McHugh became the fourth member of the gang to be jailed when he was sentenced at the High Court in Paisley. A Serious Crime Prevention Order was also granted against him. Det Supt David Scott, of Greater Glasgow Division CID, said: "McHugh was a member of one of Scotland's top-tier organised crime groups. "I welcome his conviction and sentencing as disrupting the activities of these criminals remains a priority for our officers and underlines our commitment to the country's Serious Organised Crime Taskforce." The gang's operation in Scotland involved the storage and adulteration of class A drugs and the production of etizolam tablets for onward supply. Prosecutors said they used commercial and industrial premises, vehicles and some residential addresses to store drugs, adulterants, firearms and money. Drugs lab The lab in Rannoch Road, Johnstone, was discovered on 10 June last year and a total of 228,000 tablets were recovered with a potential value of £114,027. The equipment found there had the capability of producing 118,000 tablets per hour. Meanwhile, the court heard that two hand grenades, five homemade "slam" guns, a revolver and more than 50 bullets were discovered at the house in Milton. A total of £27,650 of cocaine - some with a purity of 78% - was also found there. Detectives went on to find encrypted phones at the homes of Hough and McHugh. Hough told officers: "I'm not giving any password or pin code. No comment." But the devices were forensically examined revealing a series of damning messages. The High Court in Glasgow heard Hough sent McHugh one text which read: "Have you anywhere to put a tool box with a few shotguns in it?" Police also recovered many photos of "significant quantities" of drugs sent from McHugh. Cocaine was also referred to using designer names such as Gucci, and Hough also sent a photo of firearms to McHugh. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-57784214
  4. A BOASTFUL thug permanently disfigured a police officer in a vicious meat cleaver attack. https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1420515/Thug-meat-cleaver-attack-police-officer-attack-crime-Wishaw-Scotland Hope the scumbag gets a life sentence ,and the officer makes a full recovery.
  5. Female officers have accounted for 46 per cent of the latest intake of probationary constables to join Police Scotland. Oath of Office Date - 6th April 2021 By - Chloe Livadeas Of the 179 new officers 82 of them were women. On the force’s recruitment page of its website, it states it can offer recruits a “range of family friendly policies including those that promote a work/life balance”. 12 per cent of the new intake are from ethnic minority backgrounds. The force said a significant number of the recruits are graduates with degrees in disciplines including Law, Criminology, Psychology, Robotics and Cybertronics, Forensic Anthropology and Applied Pharmacology. The intake also includes six former Special Constables, a fraud advisor, civil servant, footballer and a civil engineer. The new recruits took their Oath of Office at a ceremony at Police Scotland’s Headquarters at Tulliallan Castle in Fife attended by the chief constable. Chief constable Ian Livingstone said: “Although we have much still to do, this particular intake of new Constables reflects the progress Police Scotland has made in our drive to increase recruitment from under-represented groups. “Policing in Scotland takes its authority and legitimacy from the people of Scotland and I remain committed to doing everything I can to ensure the service represents and reflects the communities we serve.” View On Police Oracle
  6. Image copyright Getty Images Additional police officers trained in combating cyber crime are to be deployed in Scotland. Police Scotland has also announced plans to establish a "centre of excellence" for cyber crimes, with at least 150 specialist staff. Its focus will be on offences such as child sexual abuse, fraud, and the sharing of indecent images. The force has said online sexual crimes against children have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. June was the busiest month ever for reported child sexual abuse. Police Scotland recorded 226 crimes, an increase of 21% on the same month the previous year. Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: "The nature of crime is changing and Police Scotland needs to change with it. The online space is becoming a bigger part of the front line of policing every day. "As well as keeping people safe on the streets, our officers and staff are keeping children safe on their computers and smartphones in every community in Scotland. Mr Graham added: "While cyber crimes are under-reported, we know we are stopping vulnerable people from being defrauded and adapting our techniques in response to criminals who are doing the same." The centre for excellence is intended to bring together 100 officers and staff already working in cyber criminality and a further 50 staff initially. There are further plans for this number to increase. The cyber crime strategy will be put before the Scottish Police Authority board later this week. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-54309549
  7. Two officers were injured and a police car was damaged as a man wielding an "axe" was arrested at an Asda store in Fife, Scotland. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/asda-fife-man-axe-police-officers-injured-arrest-a4485876.html
  8. Those who assault police officers in Scotland will soon have fines taken straight out of their benefit payments to pay for support services for the victim. Date - 19th May 2020 By - Chloe Livadeas Those who assault officers in Scotland will soon have fines taken straight out of their benefit payments to pay for support services for the victim. Restitution orders give courts the power to force offenders pay towards the specialist services which assist in their recovery – such as psychological support. These have been in place since 2012. Now, the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Modification) Order 2020 allows for payments to be directly deducted from offenders' benefit payments if they are unable to pay with their own funds. The order was requested by Scottish Parliament and approved in Westminster as benefits policy is a matter for Westminster Parliament. In the first three weeks of the current restrictions, officers in Scotland recorded more than 100 coronavirus-related attacks and threats aimed at officers. Scotland minister Douglas Ross said: "Behind this important order today are police officers and staff who are unacceptably being attacked in Scotland and we must do everything we can to prevent that." "Attacks against our officers and staff are deplorable and completely unacceptable, and this order to be debated today facilitates police officers in Scotland receiving the support they need should this ever happen." Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray said Labour supported the order. He said: "This is a very necessary statutory instrument which will allow the justice system to work for victims, allowing them to see that the actions of the perpetrator do have serious consequences and playing an important role in the victims' recovery, and we're therefore very happy to support the order." David Mundell, Conservative MSP and former Scotland Secretary said: "Abuse and assault is not simply part of the job of police officers and can never be tolerated, and that's the heart, I think, of this piece of legislation in the Scottish Parliament, and this subsequent order to ensure that we are not in any way accepting that abuse or assault on police officers can be in any way regarded as routine or tolerated and they must, in the event of that being the case, they must be supported in every way." Mr Mundell noted that "we've waited six years for this piece of subordinate legislation to come through". David Hamilton, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, said: "We welcome this latest step on the long path to enacting this legislation. "Later this year we expect to see these orders being served on those who attack our members- punishing the offender in the pocket and supporting our officers back to health ." View On Police Oracle
  9. But federation warns loss of local authority funding could see 1,000 less officers. Thinning blue line?: SPF general secretary Calum Steele raises fears of less officers next year Date - 15th October 2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle The Scottish government has played down “outrageous” claims Britain’s second largest force is running out of cash and could lose up to 1,000 officers next year. The Scottish Police Federation insists the national force is "in a really precarious position", raising fears that officers’ wages could not be paid after February next year. SPF general secretary Calum Steele officers faced the “debilitating” impact of working in crumbling buildings and the “demoralising” effect of driving around in "sooty diesels that are barely able to be kept on the road", while some detectives do not have access to a police vehicle. Police Scotland needs £300 million in capital funding to bring its police stations and estate up to legal standards, he told the SNP conference in Aberdeen. He also said some senior investigating officers have to deal with an ongoing case load of 100 rapes and sexual assault allegations. But Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf hit back, branding the suggestions "outrageous" and untrue. Mr Yousaf, speaking at a conference fringe event, said: "If police officers are not paid in February, I will not just eat my own hat, I will eat every conference delegate's hat that is in this room. “Because that just simply will not happen." The comments by the federation come after Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone warned in August that the number of officers the force had was "not sustainable". Mr Steele said the chief constable had warned 750 officers could be cut, and added: "That is before the doubts over an additional 300 officers that are currently funded by local authorities comes into it. "If local authorities withdraw their funding for those 300 officers, Scotland will lose 1,000 police officers next year, unless there is a change in funding. "At this point in time the police service of Scotland is going to run out of money and not be able to pay wages in February. That is the reality of what is facing the police service." Mr Steele said that while Police Scotland is the second largest force in the UK – and covers the largest geographical area – it has the fifth smallest capital budget. "The simple truth is we need round about £300 million in capital to bring our buildings and estate up to a legal standard," he said. "We are currently spending less than half the money we need each year to maintain our vehicles. "You think of the debilitating impact of being a police officer turning up to work, and the building you're working in is crumbling around you. You think of the demoralising effect of getting into a vehicle which is decrepit or falling apart. "No point lauding green targets or reducing emissions if we're running around in sooty diesels that are barely able to be kept on the road. "We have senior investigating officers in some parts of our country that are managing case loads on an ongoing basis of round about 100 rapes and sexual assaults. That is a ridiculous case load for senior investigating officers to be carrying. "We have detectives that don't have access to cars, they don't have access to the technological support they require." Mr Yousaf said he would "listen with an open mind" to requests from the police for additional capital funding, pointing out that Police Scotland received a 52 per cent increase last year. He stressed the SNP administration in Edinburgh had "purposely taken a very different direction to the Tory Government in Westminster of the last decade", increasing officer numbers by more than 1,000 after it was first elected to power in 2007. The Justice Secretary said: "Calum wouldn't be doing his job if he wasn't pressuring the Government for more funding and more finance, and he has every right to do that." He also insisted he could not envisage Police Scotland having to reduce officer numbers by 750. Mr Yousaf said numbers could not be reduced unless an increase in operational capacity could be demonstrated. He concluded: "That has simply not been demonstrated, certainly not to the numbers suggested by Calum here today. "I am very confident of this, certainly as far as I can see in the foreseeable future, there will not be a reduction of 750 officers. I do not envisage that happening." View On Police Oracle
  10. A serving PC was spared jail and will not resign despite smashing her £40,000 BMW into a roundabout after a police chase which ended in her refusing to give a breath test. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7468369/Police-officer-30-avoids-jail-wont-resign-smashing-40-000-BMW-roundabout.html Cant see her keeping her job after this. Hate people who drink and drive👎
  11. Tom Wood says airing of internal email at employment tribunal signals an 'end to straight talking'. Tom Wood said that he agreed that mixed teams of male and female firearms officers provide a better balance Date - 1st October 2019 By - Gary Mason 1 Comment A former deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police has defended a Police Scotland inspector who sent an internal email saying that female firearms officers should not be deployed together if male officers were available to form mixed teams. Tom Wood, who retired as DCC of the former Scottish force in 2004, wrote an article in the Scotsman newspaper yesterday in which he criticised the “howls of protest and complaints of discrimination and a sexist culture” which followed when the internal email came to light during an employment tribunal last month. PC Rhona Malone, a firearms officer based in Edinburgh, claims she was subjected to a series of sexist comments and behaviour which amounted to institutional sexism. At a preliminary hearing in Edinburgh her lawyer said female firearms officers were "set up to fail". Police Scotland denies the claim and the case is due to come to a full employment hearing early next year. Police Scotland said that the inspector who had sent the email was given “corrective advice” after it emerged during the hearing. He apologised and accepted that the wording had been unacceptable. In the email the officer said mixed teams of male and female officers were preferable “based on my experience in the firearms and routine policing environment.” He said it made more sense “from a search, balance and testosterone perspective.” In his newspaper article Mr Wood said that the public airing of internal emails was hampering meaningful communication within the police service. “It’s further proof that at a time when communication has never been easier it has also never been riskier,” he said. “There seems no such thing as a confidential message any more. The days of candour and straight talking are dying if not dead.” He said that in his view the inspector who wrote the email had made “a good point” which he agreed with. “Mixed teams of women and men have many advantages, policing is no exception,” he added. “In these tense situations judgment, communication skills and temperament are crucial and while these attributes are not the sole characteristic of either sex, a blend of female and male temperaments often brings a balance. “I suspect this is what the now beleaguered inspector was trying to say.” Mr Wood had 36 years’ service when he retired. As a senior officer he played a key role in modernising policing in Edinburgh, having promoted a more tolerant approach to street prostitution and extended the use of DNA profiling. As DCC he was also in charge of Edinburgh’s biggest street party, the Millennium Hogmanay celebrations - a role which saw him dubbed "the rock ’n’ roll copper". He has an MSc degree in legal studies (criminology) from Edinburgh University, was also the first officer from Lothian and Borders in many years to attend the FBI Academy in the late 1980s. View On Police Oracle
  12. THE top cop who claimed female firearms officers shouldn’t be on duty without a man has been unveiled. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/scottish-news/3439671/police-scotland-firearms-female-email-row-sergeant-keith-warhurst/
  13. Police officers took almost 40,000 days off work last year due to stress-related illness. The Scottish Police Federation say some members have taken their own lives because of pressures they faced at work. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-cops-anxious-suicidal-stress-13530271.amp ”Kennedy said: “One officer had a manager try to serve discipline forms on him the day after he tried to take his own life.” Did the manager know he’d tried to take his own life? If so what a ...... 😡
  14. Staff association says there are 'less risky, less complex and less costly' ways of devolving accountability. Date - 21st August 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle 4 Comments Opposition figures have called on the Scottish Government to revise its plans on merging British Transport Police into Police Scotland north of the border. Reports over the weekend, first appearing in The Scotsman, suggest ministers are re-thinking their plans to fully integrate the railways force into the national one. Scottish Labour, the Conservatives and BTP Federation have all since called for a re-think on the issue. The staff association wants the force to be retained in its current form but to be subject to increased accountability by the Scottish Government. Daniel Johnson, Labour’s justice spokesman, said: “Labour has consistently opposed this merger as it is unwanted, unnecessary and uncosted. “I hope reports are correct that [justice secretary] Humza Yousaf is finally listening to Labour, police officers and railway workers and looking for an alternative. “There is already one on the table brought forward by the British Transport Police Federation.” The Scottish Conservatives said on Facebook: “The SNP now needs to make clear exactly what it intends to do. “The merger plans are deeply unpopular, and opposed by officers, unions, train operators and passenger groups.” The BTP Federation said on the same site: “It would be absolutely the right decision to look at alternative options. There are other ways to achieve the principles of devolution which are less risky, less complex and less costly. “We would wholeheartedly welcome and support a re-think on this.” Timescales around the merger were extended due to complications in integrating IT systems and conditions of personnel. A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We have confirmed that our triple lock guarantee will protect jobs, pay and pensions for BTP officers transferring to Police Scotland. "There is a replanning exercise currently taking place. Once that is completed, we will ensure parliament is updated on our next steps. “We will never compromise the safety of the public." View On Police Oracle
  15. Detective sergeant says tackling domestic crime is one of force's main priorities. Court case: Edinburgh Sheriff Court Police Scotland says it will always conduct robust domestic crime investigations, after a man without a penis admitted inserting unknown implements into two women who thought they were having sex with him. Both had sex with 35-year-old Carlos Delacruz on multiple occasions but because he refused to let them see him naked – and he insisted on keeping the lights turned off – they didn’t realise he didn’t have genitalia, a court heard. One of his victims said that he would always hold the base of what she thought was his penis during sex while the other said that he made her bleed. Both only found out that he didn’t actually have a penis after their relationships broke down. Delacruz, from Banknock, near Falkirk, admitted to penetrating the women with an unknown object without their consent when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday. During an interview with Police Scotland officers, Delacruz made no comment. He was medically examined while in custody and found to have no penis. No details of Delacruz's gender position were read out in court. It was not revealed why he does not have a penis. Sheriff Alison Stirling placed Delacruz on the sex offenders’ register for a term still to be determined and deferred sentence to September. Detective Sergeant Mhairi Cooper from Police Scotland’s Public Protection Unit said: “Carlos Delacruz spent a long time deceiving the victims and his actions were a complete abuse of their trust. “Delacruz took advantage of the women and subjected them to sexual abuse over a period of time. “I would like to commend the bravery of the victims who contacted police and have been thoroughly cooperative throughout the course of our investigations. “Tackling domestic crime in all its forms remains one of our main priorities and we will always conduct robust investigations to ensure perpetrators are brought before the courts.” View On Police Oracle
  16. Issues raised by rank-and-file were whitewashed, documentary claims. Interim Chief Constable Iain Livingstone on the programme There are calls for Scotland’s Justice Secretary to answer questions over allegations that criticism of a force was removed from a report. A BBC documentary claimed a 2014 internal examination of issues in Police Scotland was watered down on the direction of former chief constable Sir Stephen House. Among the changes made were a section about a “culture of fear” in the force being edited to remove the word “fear” and re-named “culture and communication”. All criticism written in present tense was changed to past tense, the programme also claimed. Scottish Labour justice spokesman Daniel Johnson said: “These are very significant allegations that need to be taken seriously and addressed urgently. “The level of dysfunction in Police Scotland under Stephen House is well known, but allegations that rank and file officers had their concerns eradicated from reports to protect the top brass raise fundamental questions of integrity. “Officers and the public need urgent and transparent reassurance about how this was allowed to happen - and who knew what and when. It is therefore essential SNP Justice Minister Michael Matheson give a statement to Parliament on these reports as soon as possible.” Scottish Conservative Liam Kerr said: “This is yet another allegation of serious misconduct at Police Scotland. At the very least the Justice Secretary has to reassure the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people that this situation has dramatically improved.” A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Police Authority are seeking assurances from Police Scotland that matters raised were dealt with at the time. "Clearly any specific allegations of misconduct should be dealt with by the appropriate authorities.” On the programme, Interim Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said he is still weighing up whether to go for the post on a permanent basis. He was quizzed over misconduct he admitted in 2000 when, as a superintendent, he was accused of sexual assault of a female PC. He was cleared but admitted drinking too much and falling asleep “in the wrong place”. “I accepted that I had made a mistake. I accepted that I had learned from it and since that time I have continued to conduct my duties with absolute rigour and professionalism," he said. View On Police Oracle
  17. Dizzydee

    Lego policeman

    Long time since I've posted here, but wondering if anyone can help. I'm trying to get hold of a Lego mini figure with a likeness to a typical Police Scotland/UK police officer. I've tried looking online at the likes of eBay and other sites, but can only find cops done up like SWAT or with a custodian helmet or police of different countries. Anyone got any idea where I can get something more routine?
  18. Complaint handling procedures at Scotland’s police oversight body are “neither effective nor efficient”, according to an audit report. https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/scotland/police-complaints-procedures-ineffective-and-inefficient/
  19. Serving and retired officers can claim held in reserve payments. Hundreds of officers who served in Scotland may be entitled to backdated bonus pay. Following a legal challenge Police Scotland must pay serving and retired officers so-called held in reserve payments stretching back to June 2012. It follows a row over the money owed to officers for the time they spent away from home but not on duty. A test case was won by the Scottish Police Federation earlier this year and the force is now paying out claims. Deputy General Secretary David Kennedy said: “It’s very much a success story, we don’t like litigating against the force but we are where we are. “It has taken a bit of time to work out the practicalities with Police Scotland on how to put the claims in but they are now coming in and the money will be paid as soon as possible. “Serving and retired officers are able to put claims in if they believe they’re owed money.” It is not known exactly how much it will cost Police Scotland, though it is likely to run into several million. A spokesman for the force said “appropriate budgetary provisions have been made”. He added: “We are aware of the decision. Our objective throughout was to secure best value for Police Scotland by ensuring that officers were paid correctly in terms of the Police Negotiating Board Circulars which were the subject of the Judicial Review. "When the judgement was issued we were pleased to note Lady Wise [who ruled on the dispute] stated no criticism could be levelled for taking our statutory duties to secure best value consciously and seriously. "Since then, we have been working with the Scottish Police Federation to establish a procedure for the submission and consideration of officers' claims." Full Story - Police Oracle
  20. MSPs have passed legislation aimed at merging railway policing north of the border into Police Scotland. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill is the first step towards the national force taking on the role of British Transport Police (BTP). There had been a lengthy debate over the plan, with police bosses warning it could be "massively complicated" and "a real challenge". The bill passed by 68 votes to 53, with the Greens backing the SNP. Labour and the Conservatives have opposed the merger and the bill throughout, and the Lib Dems - who had supported the legislation in the stage one vote in order to pursue amendments at committee stage - also voted against the bill. Look back on the stage three debate and vote on Holyrood Live The Scottish government has long wanted to integrate railway policing services into the single national force, and tabled a bill to that end in December 2016. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill confers extra powers on the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Service of Scotland, but further legislation would be needed at Holyrood and Westminster to transfer staff, properties and cross-border policing functions. The Scottish government insists the integration will provide "efficient and effective" delivery of policing. However, there has been debate over the plan, with concerns ranging from how cross-border services would be affected to the potential dilution of the special skills of transport officers. The BTP wanted to continue providing railway policing in Scotland, but with oversight from Holyrood rather than Westminster. Chief Constable Paul Crowther warned MSPs that a merger could present a "real challenge" in replacing officers amid a "significant outflow of expertise". However, Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins told the justice committee the move was not a "land-grab" by his force, saying the transition would be "complicated, but not insurmountable". 'Absolutely committed' After a series of votes on amendments during the stage three debate, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the "primary objective" of the move was to "maintain and enhance high standards of safety". He said the bill would improve accountability of railway policing in Scotland, and said he remained "absolutely committed" to backing staff. The Scottish Conservatives opposed the plans, with MSP Oliver Mundell describing the merger as "an ill-judged and ill-thought out idea". He added: "The list of those with concerns is almost as long as the Scottish government's list of excuses on policing matters." Image copyrightBRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE MSPs have passed legislation aimed at merging railway policing north of the border into Police Scotland. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill is the first step towards the national force taking on the role of British Transport Police (BTP). There had been a lengthy debate over the plan, with police bosses warning it could be "massively complicated" and "a real challenge". The bill passed by 68 votes to 53, with the Greens backing the SNP. Labour and the Conservatives have opposed the merger and the bill throughout, and the Lib Dems - who had supported the legislation in the stage one vote in order to pursue amendments at committee stage - also voted against the bill. Look back on the stage three debate and vote on Holyrood Live The Scottish government has long wanted to integrate railway policing services into the single national force, and tabled a bill to that end in December 2016. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill confers extra powers on the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Service of Scotland, but further legislation would be needed at Holyrood and Westminster to transfer staff, properties and cross-border policing functions. The Scottish government insists the integration will provide "efficient and effective" delivery of policing. However, there has been debate over the plan, with concerns ranging from how cross-border services would be affected to the potential dilution of the special skills of transport officers. Image captionTransport Minister Humza Yousaf said the government had "listened closely" to concerns about the plans The BTP wanted to continue providing railway policing in Scotland, but with oversight from Holyrood rather than Westminster. Chief Constable Paul Crowther warned MSPs that a merger could present a "real challenge" in replacing officers amid a "significant outflow of expertise". However, Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins told the justice committee the move was not a "land-grab" by his force, saying the transition would be "complicated, but not insurmountable". 'Absolutely committed' After a series of votes on amendments during the stage three debate, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the "primary objective" of the move was to "maintain and enhance high standards of safety". He said the bill would improve accountability of railway policing in Scotland, and said he remained "absolutely committed" to backing staff. The Scottish Conservatives opposed the plans, with MSP Oliver Mundell describing the merger as "an ill-judged and ill-thought out idea". He added: "The list of those with concerns is almost as long as the Scottish government's list of excuses on policing matters." Image captionThe bill was passed by 68 votes to 53 Labour's Claire Baker also spoke out against the plan, warning of a loss of expertise and saying: "The Scottish government have ignored concerns of staff and unions". Her colleague Neil Bibby, who moved a series of amendments to the bill, said it was "shocking" that the government was "ignoring the views of our police officers". Lib Dem MSP Mike Russell said the merger was the riskiest of three options put forward, saying that ministers had decided that the majority of those in the policing sector who opposed the move were wrong. However, Green member John Finnie said his party would support the bill on the condition there was no detriment to staff. Commenting after the bill was approved, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "With this move we are ensuring that policing on Scotland's 93 million annual rail journeys is fully accountable to the people of Scotland and our parliament. "Making this change gives our railway officers access to the specialist resources of the UK's second largest police force including, crucially, counter-terrorism capabilities." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-40404532
  21. Police Scotland has outlined plans to cut officer numbers by 400 as part of its 10-year policing plan. Chief Constable Phil Gormley said recruitment levels would remain unchanged in the current year, but would begin to slow between 2018-20. He said resources would be re-directed to frontline operations, amid big financial challenges. Last December, the spending watchdog said Scotland's police service was facing a £188m funding gap by 2020-21. Mr Gormley said officer numbers had been at historic highs but said some staff had been used for corporate, rather than community roles. As part of a new strategy, Policing 2026, he said police officers would be released from corporate and backroom roles, with priority given to frontline operations and a more visible community presence. Some corporate roles will also be cut. Mr Gormley said that changing technology meant that not everyone involved in fighting crime would be a serving police officer. And he added that the workforce would be given new training to fight cybercrime. Fighting cybercrime Andrew Flanagan, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, said action must be taken but said police officer recruitment would only be cut if approved by the SPA. He told a press conference at the launch of the new strategy: "We are anticipating a small reduction in police officer numbers through to 2020. "It would be around 400, but that would come towards the end of the period, rather than early on. "We expect police officer numbers to remain at their current level through the coming year and only gradually reduce thereafter." He added: "I must stress - we will not reduce police officer numbers until we see these productivity gains coming through. "So, actually, we are anticipating the amount of operational policing will actually increase through the period through to 2020." As part of the new strategy, people across Scotland are being invited to give their views on how Police Scotland should be shaped over the next 10 years in a 10-week consultation. Police Scotland has pointed out that patterns of crime are changing - often enabled by new technologies. The population profile is also ageing and becoming more diverse and the duty to protect the vulnerable is becoming ever more complex. It said the police service must adapt and develop its capacity and capability to maximise public safety and remain operationally and financially sustainable. Add most value The force said the new strategy would create a workforce of police officers and staff who are focused on where they can add most value to protecting and serving the public. It suggested that technology and new ways of working would lead to greater productivity and more time tackling crime and addressing issues around vulnerability. The workforce mix would also evolve as new skills and capabilities were developed. The strategy would recognise that police are dealing increasingly with vulnerable people who need medical or social care rather than law enforcement officers. Key areas in the new strategy: Prevention - tackling crime, inequality and critical problems facing communities Protection - based on threat, risk and harm Communities - focused on localism, diversity and the virtual world Knowledge - informing the development of better services Innovation - becoming a dynamic, adaptable and sustainable service Mr Flanagan and Mr Gormley announced the consultation in Edinburgh. Mr Flanagan said: "The SPA and Police Scotland have spent many months assessing the changing nature of communities and their demands on policing as well as analysing the changing nature of crime. "From a position of strength, we need to ensure that Police Scotland adapts to these changes and has the range of skills and capacity to deal with growing demand and that we do so in a financially-sustainable way." 'Must transform' He added: "Policing is a vital public service and it is essential that we listen to those we wish to serve to ensure we meet their expectations. "Through this consultation we are asking for everyone to provide their views on the approach outlined today and I would urge as many people as possible to take part." Mr Gormley said: "Policing in Scotland has gone through significant transition; it is proudly one of the oldest public services in the world. "Now the service must transform to realise and release the full benefits of being a single organisation. "Local policing will remain at the heart of what we do, supported by a wide range of specialist capabilities. "In an ever-changing world, people will continue to turn to the police service for a myriad of reasons, which means it's never been more important to understand our demand, both current and future, in order to be able deliver a service which is relevant, has legitimacy and above all maintains the trust and confidence of the public." Officers on the beat Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said Police Scotland must "embrace new approaches" and said the Scottish government had provided an enhanced £61m reform budget for 2017-18 to support the changes. "While our Programme for Government is clear about the need to consider the right mix of skills and not just overall numbers, the public will always be interested in the number of police officers on the beat," he said. "We will pay particular attention to these issues before approval of the final strategy. In all circumstances, I would expect to see the number of police officers remaining significantly above the number we inherited in 2007. "Indeed, our enhanced funding gives police the platform to invest in the wider workforce, technology and other resources to keep communities safe." He added: " I urge all those with an interest to have their say on this next phase of policing in Scotland." Anyone who wants to contribute to the consultation should submit their comments by 8 May. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39097972
  22. Activists have accused officers from Police Scotland of a " brutal response" to protests held against the removal of a Kenyan man by Home Office services in Glasgow. Full Story - CommonSpace The protestors are complaining about the police tactics, but forget to mention that is was their own appaling behaviour which led to the police response. What did they expect to happen when they tried to block in the van?
  23. Fresh fears have been raised that cutbacks are forcing frontline police officers in Moray to spend much of their days filling-in forms instead of catching criminals. Full Story - Press & Journal
  24. Shock new figures have revealed ethnic minority applicants are being frozen out of careers as officers with Police Scotland. The Press and Journal has learned that no Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, African or Caribbean candidates were accepted to divisions in the north and north-east in the last two years. Full Story- Press & Journal The media might see it is a shock, but how can you get more ethnic minority applicants without lowering the standards?
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