26th Oct 2017

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr
This article was originally published on this website

‘I work up to 40 hours a week as a police officer and don’t get paid’

A Falkirk retail worker is not just any volunteer – he’s an M&S one who has just been voted as one of the company’s top of the range assets. Chris Hall was given Marks and Spencer’s Volunteering Award at the firm’s glittering annual Pride of M&S ceremony for his selfless work with Police Scotland as a special constable for the past 13 years. The 31-year-old has contributed more than 30,000 hours of voluntary work with the road policing unit in Forth Valley in his spare time, helping to keep roads safe in local communities.


New chief officer isn’t just somebody who wants to put in an easy shift Patsy? No, Scotland wants and needs a police watchdog with teeth

Somebody may have been looking for a patsy to run Scotland’s main law enforcement watchdog. But they have not found one. For the last few months there has been a growing view that the Government would try to impose some order on the Scottish Police Authority. After all, the body, charged with overseeing a £1 billion police budget, had been found to have “dysfunctional” leadership. As its ruling board members quarrelled, not least over transparency, it generated ugly headlines that the SNP and Scotland’s bureaucratic establishment could have done without.


Cops called out to more than 21,000 domestic abuse incidents in Renfrewshire in ten years

Bullies have sparked an average of six domestic abuse police call-outs every day for the last decade, shock figures reveal. Holyrood statistics have laid bare the scale of the horror which has made the region a hotspot for violence and aggression.  Cops were called to deal with almost 21,500 reports of rows between partners in the last 10 years.  Women’s Aid says efforts by support groups and the police have given victims greater confidence to come forward, but more needs to be done.  Outreach worker Rae Gilbert said: “Domestic abuse kills two women every week in the UK.


Firefighters’ jobs under threat as chief urges reform

Scotland’s most senior firefighter says the service needs a “fundamental redesign” after a leaked report said his organisation was looking at closing stations and cutting officers.

Alasdair Hay, the chief fire officer, said antiquated staffing structures were to blame for leaving between 60 and 100 fire engines out of action every day. He said a new model was needed to “make sure we’ve got the right resources in the right place at all times”.


Scottish Government civil servant appointed as interim chief officer of Scottish Police Authority

A Scottish Government civil servant has been appointed as the interim chief officer of the Scottish Police Authority. Kenneth Hogg is currently the Scottish Government’s director of local government and communities, a post he has held since 2013.  Hogg will join the SPA on a 12-month secondment from 13 November, ahead of the departure of outgoing chief executive John Foley.  Foley announced in August he was taking early retirement, with his post being made redundant in its present form.


Why disability hate crimes are woefully under-reported

The latest disability hate-crime figures for England and Wales reveal a significant rise of more than 50% on the year before. This could possibly be seen as positive, as it means more people are reporting these crimes. In 2016-17 the police recorded 5,558 criminal offences “motivated by hostility or prejudice” against someone with a disability – an increase of 53% compared to 2015-16. Disability hate crimes make up around 7% of all recorded hate crimes.


Domestic violence in Aberdeen is down but region still higher than national average

New figures reveal domestic abuse incidents in Aberdeen are higher than the national average – despite reducing over the past year. The figures – recorded by Police Scotland – show there were 58,810 incidents in 2016/17, up 1% from 2015/16.  In Aberdeen a total of 110 domestic abuse incidents were recorded by police per 10,000 population in 2016/17, compared to 109 across Scotland.  In Aberdeenshire, 56 domestic incidents are recorded per 10,000 population, making it the fourth lowest in the country.  Across Scotland, 16 out of 32 local authorities recorded a decrease in the number of incidents recorded by the police between 2015/16 and 2016/17.


Named person guidance could see children’s information ‘stockpiled’, police warn

Guidance aimed at helping professionals implement the Scottish Government’s controversial named person scheme could see information on children being “stockpiled”, Police Scotland has warned. Holyrood’s Education Committee heard that “too much weighting” on obtaining consent to share information could result in officers not getting it to the “right people at the right time”.  The force is one of a number of organisations that will be required to consider whether to share information with named persons which could support, promote or safeguard the wellbeing of a child.


SPA appoints interim chief officer

A temporary chief officer has been selected to lead the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) following a significant management restructure. Kenneth Hogg will join the SPA next month on a 12-month secondment from his current role as director for local government and communities with the Scottish Executive. Mr Hogg will have less accountability than his predecessor, John Foley, as his role recently lost operational responsibility for forensic services.  The reform followed criticism by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) of “fundamental weakness” at the top of the SPA.  Mr Hogg said he is “delighted to have been appointed to this role” and is looking forward to working with colleagues across policing.


Scottish fire service needs a ‘fundamental redesign’ after major staffing issues

Scotland’s most senior firefighter says the service needs a “fundamental redesign” with staffing leaving up to 100 fire engines out of action daily. Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay said between 60 and 100 on call pumps are unavailable each day across Scotland as he made clear a new service model was needed to “make sure we’ve got the right resources in the right place at all times”. He spoke out after BBC Scotland reported the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was looking to “re-balance” firefighter numbers and review its “station footprint”.


Fire service faces staff shortage emergency with up to 100 engines out of action every day

Up to 100 fire engines are out of action every day because of staff shortages, it has emerged. Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing said the nation’s fire service needs to be transformed but has yet to release details of the Government’s plans. But reports have claimed the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are to cut the number of firefighters and stations. A leaked document stated SFRS were looking to “re-balance” staff numbers and review their “station footprint”.


Police ‘broke law’ on state snooper plan

Police Scotland has been accused of ‘breaking the law’ after sharing information on children under the Names Person initiative before it was deemed unlawful.


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