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Calls for explanation over report allegedly edited to remove officer concerns


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Issues raised by rank-and-file were whitewashed, documentary claims.

Interim Chief Constable Iain Livingstone on the programme

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.

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