15th Dec 2017

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr
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Scottish Budget sees police and fire services receive full VAT

THE VAT which the UK Government has finally agreed to stop collecting from Scotland’s police and fire and rescue services will go into their budgets in full, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay pledged yesterday. As agreed by Chancellor Philip Hammond, Police Scotland will be able to reclaim £25 million and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will have £10m refunded next year, with £20m of additional investment going to the police to protect revenue budgets. In addition there will be £5.5m for the SFRS as it undergoes what it has called “transformation” to a modern service. It remains to be seen what will happen to the years of VAT already paid by Police Scotland and SFRS.


Acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone admits failings in single force

SCOTLAND’S acting Chief Constable has admitted failings in the single force and promised “humility” in future. Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone told a policing conference in Edinburgh that the formation of the single force from eight forces in 2013 had not been “a smooth journey” .Mr Livingstone, Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and Susan Deacon, new chair of the Scottish Police Authority, addressed senior officers from around the world as well as across the UK at the International Policing Conference in Edinburgh.


Armed officers will be called to attend non-violent incidents

Armed officers will be routinely deployed to incidents that do not involve firearms in a major shift in policy by Police Scotland. Police with weapons will be allowed to attend non-violent incidents if they are nearer to a scene than unarmed colleagues. In a second policy change, an extra 500 officers are to be trained to use stun devices to improve safety for the police after a rise in violent attacks against them from 764 in 2016 to 969 to date in 2017. Yesterday, the force revealed that 399 officers would be approved to carry guns after it announced last year that 124 extra officers were being trained.


Cops armed with guns and tasers could soon be dealing with speeding drivers

Armed officers will deal with minor matters like speeding motorists in a major expansion of gun use by Police Scotland. Plans to use more armed police and issue 500 more tasers will be presented to police chiefs next week in a direct response to a rise in violent attacks on officers. But prominent human rights lawyer Aamar Anwar said the country was in danger of “sleepwalking into increased militarisation of our police”. The move comes three years after former police chief Sir Stephen House was slammed for putting armed officers on routine patrol, with images of gun cops in supermarkets and town centres sparking fury among the public.


Watch moment Scots cop test out new Tasers as more armed officers set to be deployed on streets

THIS is the moment cops test out a new stun-gun that could be on your local bobby’s belt next year. Inspector Jim Young fired the Taser X2 which is being provided to 500 ordinary officers in Scotland from May 2018. The new weapons have laser targeting and can deliver two shots without reloading. Their introduction is in response to a surge in blade yobs confronting police officers. Police Scotland said they’d already seen a 26 per cent increase in assaults on officers with 969 so far in 2017 – compared to 764 over the whole of the previous year.


Police Scotland to send armed officers to more incidents

Firearms officers will be sent to routine incidents such as road crashes and medical emergencies following an overhaul of armed policing. Police Scotland is to extend the role of armed response vehicle (ARV) officers, scrapping an earlier commitment only to deploy armed officers to firearms incidents or those where there is a threat to life. The announcement came as the force confirmed plans to equip 500 extra officers with Tasers after the number of assaults against those on the frontline increased by more than a quarter.


Police Scotland to arm more officers with tasers amid ‘increasing threat of violence’

Police Scotland has announced plans to increase its use of tasers by equipping 500 trained officers in local policing divisions. The move will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority Board on Tuesday (December 19) as a means of improving safety for the public and police officers. It follows a number of incidents in which officers have been threatened with blades, and an increase in assaults on the police – some 969 officers have been attacked in 2017 so far, compared to 764 in 2016. Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne, Crime and Operational Support, said: “Our officers are facing increasing threats of violence from people with knives and other bladed weapons.


Extra 500 Scottish officers to get Tasers after rise in assaults on police

Police Scotland will train and equip 500 local officers with Tasers as the force struggles to deal with a sharp increase in assaults on police. In what amounts to a significant upgrade in operational capability, the force will also extend the role of armed officers to allow them to attend more non-firearms calls. The changes come after a turbulent few months for the force, with a string of high-profile suspensions, and morale among rank-and-file officers low, according to the Scottish Police Federation, because of poor resourcing and equipment in disrepair.


Conference to highlight Scotland’s policing capability

Scotland’s policing capability will be highlighted at an international conference in Edinburgh today. Delegates from Belgium, Norway, Switzerland and across the UK will attend the event which will be opened by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson. New Scottish Police Authority chair Susan Deacon and deputy chief constable designate Iain Livingstone are also due to speak. Ahead of the event, Mr Matheson said: “I am absolutely confident in the professionalism and dedication of the many thousands of police officers and staff who provide essential leadership in communities across the country. Their efforts have been critical to delivering the safer society that we all now enjoy.


Heroic police pair rescued boy from river

TWO police officers who rescued a 15-year-old boy from a river have been given awards for their bravery. The teenager, who had been reported missing, was spotted on the banks of the River Esk by Police Constables Anderson and Meikle while they were searching for him in Musselburgh. It was revealed that the officers realised the teenager had tried to harm himself but when they approached him he ran into the water before walking downstream towards the town’s Roman Bridge.


Police Scotland to invest millions in drones and cyber hubs

The unmanned aerial vehicles will be used as alternatives to the force helicopter in rural and remote areas, mainly in the search for missing people. Extra cyber hubs will be set up where specialist teams will help tackle rising demand for digital and cyber-related crime investigations and work on prevention. The £3.6 million investment in cyber-hubs will mean that facilities will be set up in the north and west of the country to add to an existing hub in Edinburgh.


Government and police launch drink-drive awareness campaign

Drivers in Scotland are being reminded that there is zero tolerance for “just one” drink before driving. A new festive awareness campaign from the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland reinforces that when it comes to drink driving, “the best approach is none”, as well as highlighting the consequences of being found guilty of drink driving. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson launched the month-long enforcement and awareness campaign in Edinburgh with Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle. Police Scotland’s enforcement campaign will see even more patrols on Scotland’s roads this December.


Police Scotland to train 500 new Taser officers

Police Scotland will increase its Taser capability by 500 officers after a sharp rise in the number of assaults. So far this year, 969 officers have been assaulted – an increase of nearly 27% on the 764 recorded in 2016. The plans, which will be put to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), are aimed at improving public safety. The force also confirmed it is extending the role of Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) officers to allow them to be deployed to more non-firearms calls.


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