The Scottish Government’s justice secretary Michael Matheson has written to city councillor Richard McCready confirming there are no current plans to shut Ryehill police station in the West End. Last year, it emerged that force bosses were considering closing the Perth Road office in a shake-up of local resources. But after the Scottish Police Authority launched a consultation on the closure of a number of empty or rarely-used offices across Scotland last month, it was revealed that Ryehill is not on that list. Now, Mr Matheson has confirmed that Ryehill will remain open in a letter to West End representative Mr McCready, who had been against any potential closure.
A driver was held by police yesterday after a high-speed cross-Border pursuit. The 45-mile motorway chase ended when the powerful Audi car crashed into an HSBC bank in the town centre of Penrith, Cumbria. The car was being followed by both Police Scotland and Cumbria Police officers at the time. Scottish units began the chase after the vehicle failed to stop on the A74(M) just south of Lockerbie. The pursuit continued on to the M6 in the England. The man, who was slightly injured, was arrested and taken back across the Border. He did not require hospital treatment and police say no one else was in the car.
All Scots on middle and high incomes will pay more in tax under plans unveiled by the first minister to inject more money into public services. With the country facing Brexit, continued austerity and an ageing population, Nicola Sturgeon said it was time for people who could afford it to pay more. Ms Sturgeon published four options for income tax, each of which would raise taxes for all but the lowest categories. All the models would mean rises for those earning more than £31,000, with some of the options increasing the tax take on those with salaries of just over £24,000 as well.
Consultation launched on proceeds of crime searches
A new code of practice on police searches for assets related to criminal activity has been published for consultation ahead of legislation taking effect in the spring. The code builds on new legislation, the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which redefines what can be seized as a criminal asset and will ensure that items that can be seized as being proceeds of crime can include precious stones, stamps, watches and betting slips. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Criminals should not be allowed to profit from their crimes and our law enforcement agencies already have robust powers to seize assets acquired by illegal means.
THE SNP Government has been accused of “a shocking lack of financial prudence” for pressing ahead with a controversial police merger without a full cost analysis. Labour MSP Mary Fee levelled the charge at Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions. Ms Fee criticised the SNP’s plan for Police Scotland to take over the role and around 200 staff of the British Transport Police (BTP) from 2019.
More than 2200 cases of domestic abuse were reported in West Lothian in 2016-17, a shocking new report reveals. The annual government report shows that 124 people per 10,000 fall victim to domestic abuse in the area – the eighth highest rate of abuse in Scotland. There were 2241 reported incidents, a rise from 2203 the previous year. Detective Chief Inspector Debra Forrester, from the Domestic Abuse Task Force, this week warned that it is a continuing problem across Scotland. And she stressed that more help from communities was key to reducing harm and protecting victims of domestic abuse.
Gavin Newlands MP calls on UK Government to commit to Europol
The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands has spoken out on the dangers that Brexit may cause to the ability of the police authorities to tackle serious crimes like human trafficking, terrorism, drug dealing and prostitution. The Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North today challenged David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, to guarantee that the UK will continue to be a member of Europol following Brexit. Mr Newlands serves on the UK Parliament’s Justice Committee.