Chancellor accused of ‘short-changing’ Scotland ahead of Budget
The Finance Secretary has set out a list of demands to the Treasury in advance of the UK Government’s Autumn Budget next week, accusing the Chancellor of “short-changing” Scotland. Derek Mackay is calling on the Government to ditch its austerity agenda and take measures to help boost Scotland’s economy and safeguard public services. Reversing plans for a further £3.5 billion in cuts is a key demand, and others include providing sufficient money to lift the one per cent public sector pay cap, allowing the police and fire services to recover their VAT, and stopping a £600 million reduction for Scotland’s railways.
The thin blue line patrolled by police authority’s board as it oversees 23,000 officers and £1bn budget
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) was set up in 2013, following the passage of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) act a year earlier. The body was intended to promote and support the continuous improvement of policing in Scotland, keeping Police Scotland and its operational activity under review and holding the Chief Constable to account. It’s remit was sizeable – to provide independent oversight of policing for 5.3 million people, a workforce of 23,000 police officers and staff and an annual budget of around £1 billion.
Police Scotland warned they’re exposing themselves to hackers and cyber fraud
Police Scotland is leaving the door open to hackers, experts warn. Tech staff are not testing for unauthorised code changes in force software, an IT audit found.
£320k plan to base cops at North Lanarkshire high schools to ‘address safety issues’
Police officers could be based at secondary schools as part of council plans to “address safety issues within school communities”. Agreement has been reached between the local authority and Police Scotland for eight officers to set up a home in six North Lanarkshire schools. A decision on the plans was set to be finalised at a council education meeting this week. The “first phase” of the project would see two officers based in Braidhurst High to cover Taylor High, Brannock High, Our Lady’s High and Dalziel High.
Transgender jail may cost up to £11m
A new prison for transgender inmates could be built, costing up to £10.7m under Scottish Government. The cost of constructing a unit to house inmates who do not identify as male or female emerged in a Scottish Government document.
Soft touch warnings ‘fuel cannabis abuse’
A United Nations consultant has warned soft-touch police warnings for drug possession are likely to fuel cannabis abuse. Dr Ian Oliver, a former chief constable of Grampian Police, called for mandatory education about the dangers of drugs for those who escape prosecution and said the warnings may be part of wider moves to legalise cannabis possession.
Cop who hit pensioner with patrol car during chase was driving on wrong side of road
A police officer struck a pensioner with his patrol car while driving on the wrong side of the road, a court heard last week. PC Paul McNabb was chasing a suspected attacker when he smashed his panda car into Nicholas Flavin as the OAP crossed the street in Edinburgh city centre. McNabb claims he had his lights and siren on as he sped along the opposite carriageway of London Road. But the 72-year-old victim and his wife Ruth said the PC had failed to activate his lights and they “didn’t hear a siren” as they made their way towards the Playhouse Theatre last April.