27th Nov 2017

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr
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G8 riots to feature in new documentary about 400 years of Scottish policing

The 31st G8 summit, which was held at Gleneagles in 2005, sparked marches and protests in Auchterarder, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, and resulted in hundreds of arrests as activists and riot police clashed. The event will feature as part of the third episode of The Force: The Story of Scotland’s Police, which charts the progression of the service from its origins 400 years ago, when James VI of Scotland decreed every parish should have two constables, to the modern day.


Crisis-hit Scottish police force in line for overhaul

Scotland’s embattled police force could be overhauled when the investigations into senior officers have been completed, Michael Matheson, the justice secretary, has suggested. Police Scotland, which has been rocked by complaints, suffered another blow this weekend when two senior officers were suspended from the firearms unit.  The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has begun an inquiry into the conduct of Superintendent Kirk Kinnell and Chief Inspector Bob Glass under direction of the Crown Office.


Police officer tells of heroism and heartbreak in Ellon river rescue

Constable Carolyn Wright told how she and her colleagues were devastated by the death of Kirsten Duguid after they managed to save the life of her little sister, Amy Wright, 31, plunged into the icy waters of a flooded burn in pitch darkness near Ellon to rescue the girls. They were trapped after their dad’s Audi A3 left the road and flipped on to its roof in the water.  Despite their efforts, 14-year-old Kirsten later died in hospital.  Colleagues struggled to open the door of the vehicle but Wright wrenched the door open with her police-issue crowbar to free 12-year-old Amy.


Van and lorry drivers show “least compliance” with speed limits, according to unpublished report

Van and lorry drivers show the “least compliance” with Scotland‘s speed limits, an unpublished Transport Scotland study shows. The research tracked the speeds of around 11 million vehicles on single and dual carriageways and found those driving HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) were the worst offenders. Police chiefs argued that part of the problem could be people hiring vans and being ignorant of the limits on the roads. Calls have since been made by road safety groups to improve awareness for professional drivers and those renting the vehicles.


North-east cop who battled to save life of teen after car crash nominated for bravery award

Constable Carolyn Wright and five of her colleagues managed to save Amy Duguid but big sister Kirsten later died in hospital after the car they were travelling in plunged into a burn last December. The Meldrum Academy pupil, from Methlick, became trapped when the Audi A3 they were travelling in left the road and overturned at Mains of Arnage, near Ellon.


Police warn of Breaking Bard drug labs threat

Police chiefs are warning of the threat of Breaking Bad-style drug ‘factories’ springing up in Scotland. Gangsters are setting up operations to manufacture legal highs including Spice, a form of synthetic cannabis that can turn users into virtual zombies.  The warning is in papers to be submitted to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) tomorrow.  Police Scotland said its New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) unit ‘looks for trends in the manufacturing, sales and supply of illicit drugs and NPS [legal highs]’.  The documents state: ‘One trend is the establishment of clandestine or illegal synthetic drug laboratories with the goal of supplying controlled drugs to the illicit market.


Police Scotland stand-in chief looking to strengthen force after string of suspensions

The officer in charge of Police Scotland wants to bring in more senior staff to steady the beleaguered force. ADVERTISING

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone is looking to strengthen the leadership after Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins was suspended over a probe into his conduct. Superintendent Kirk Kinnell, Chief Inspector Bob Glass and another officer were also suspended while two others have been placed on restricted duties.  Livingstone tweeted last night: “Been a day of reflection, thought and planning. Will look to bolster senior team next week, we have leadership strength in depth from DCC to PC.  Thanks for all the support for policing in Scotland.”  He took change when chief constable Phil Gormley was suspended in September over bullying allegations.


Justice Secretary admits Police Scotland is facing challenging time following suspensions

Under-fire Justice Secretary Michael Matheson yesterday admitted Police Scotland is facing a “challenging time” after a string of its most senior officers were relieved of active duty over complaints. An emergency review is being conducted into the senior management’s ability to cope at the top, with Chief Constable Phil Gormley and Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins now sidelined as a growing crisis engulfs the force.


SNP Justice Minister refuses to disclose why head of armed policing and his deputy have been suspended

The SNP’s Justice Minister has repeatedly refused to disclose why the head of armed policing in Scotland and his deputy have been suspended after confirming they are under investigation. Michael Matheson initially claimed it would be inappropriate for him to name any of the officers facing criminal and misconduct allegations, only to then perform an immediate about-turn.  He confirmed that Superintendent Kirk Kinnell, 50, and Chief Inspector Bob Glass were suspended alongside Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, whose suspension was announced on Friday.


Justice Secretary told to ‘get a grip’ of Police Scotland

The justice secretary has been told to “get a grip” of Police Scotland amid claims of misconduct about top officers in the force. Michael Matheson hit back, saying it was not the right time for politicians to be taking over operational matters. The exchange came after Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins became the latest high-ranking officer to be suspended on Friday by the Scottish Police Authority, after “a number of criminal and misconduct allegations”. The Scottish Conservative spokesman on justice, Liam Kerr, told BBC Radio Scotland: “This is a time of great challenge as well as great change for the force.


Hogmanay in Edinburgh ‘ticks all boxes for terror attacks’

Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh “tick all the boxes” for a terror attack, a security advisor to Police Scotland has warned. High-profile events offering potential mass casualties fit the remit of Manchester Arena or London Bridge-style lone wolf or organised group assaults. Counter-terrorism security adviser Neil Philip said there was no specific threat but stressed the nationwide alert remained severe, meaning a UK attack is highly likely.  “George Street is already crammed with people,” said Mr Philip.


Michael Matheson defends handling of Police Scotland crisis

Under fire justice secretary Michael Matheson has admitted Police Scotland is facing a “challenging time” after a string of its most senior officers were relieved of active duty over complaints. An emergency review is now being carried into the senior management’s ability to cope at the top of the national force, with chief constable Phil Gormley and Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins now sidelined as a growing crisis engulfs the body.


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