AN MSP has challenged Philip Hammond to pay back a £140 million VAT bill to Scotland’s police and fire services. Unlike their counterparts in the rest of the UK, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service must pay the Treasury £35m a year in VAT charges. Holyrood Justice Committee member Ben Macpherson has now challenged the Chancellor to scrap the “unnecessary” annual payment. The call comes after Westminster changed its rules to allow Highways England and academy schools to reclaim their VAT bills.
Scotland’s top police watchdog faces complaint of unreasonable behaviour from ‘distressed’ officer
SCOTLAND’S top police watchdog is facing a complaint of unreasonable behaviour from an officer in his team. Derek Penman has been accused of leaving aide Dennis Hunter “emotionally challenged” and “distressed”. Mr Hunter, 48, is understood to be signed off with stress following his alleged ordeal. Sources say he has written to ministers outlining his claim and signalling his intent to formally lodge a grievance. A spokeswoman for HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland Mr Penman said he was “unaware of a complaint being made”. But cop union the Scottish Police Federation confirmed: “We’re aware of the complaint and are providing assistance to our member.”
Road casualties at lowest ever figure but fatalities increase
Road casualties in Scotland have fallen to their lowest levels since records began, but deaths are on the rise. Statistics from New Transport Scotland indicate 191 people died on Scotland’s roads in 2016, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of 178.
However, road casualties fell by one per cent between 2015 and 2016 from 10,973 to 10,901 – the lowest number since records began in 1950. And those seriously injured in crashes increased by six per cent to 1,697 in the same period, while slight injuries fell by two per cent.
Local Community Police officers from Johnstone Police Office have held a football tournament for primary school kids on Friday 29th September 2017 at the ONYX sport centre in Linwood. The idea for the event came from the local Community Police Officers for the Linwood area, Constable Brian Dick and Constable Martin Norwood. Both officers having recently taken up post within the new local policing model where keen to establish themselves within the local schools and get to know the children better, so the idea for a local football tournament was born. The officers approached Bridge of Weir, Houston, Woodlands, St Fillans and Our Lady of Peace Primary Schools, who were happy to support the initiative.
Scotland’s murder rate ‘tracks other serious violent crimes’ showing upward trend
The number of killings plummeted from 2007 to 2013 but the number has held at around 60 a year ever since. Scottish Government officials have formally confirmed a death toll of 64 from ‘murders and culpable homicides’ in 2016/17. The latest figure is almost half that of a decade ago but ten per cent higher than a year earlier.
Crime analysts warn that homicide figures can be “jaggy” because the relatively small numbers can fluctuate from year to year.