21 December 2017

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

No crisis in Scottish policing, says watchdog

There is no crisis in policing” in Scotland despite the current situation with complaints against chief officers, the force’s watchdog has said. Derek Penman, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland (HMCICS), said he believes Police Scotland is well served by the many senior officers, team leaders and support staff managers who provide essential day-to-day leadership across the country. The troubled force is currently without some of its most senior staff, with Chief Constable Phil Gormley placed on ”special leave” in September as allegations of gross misconduct are investigated, and Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins suspended by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in November.


Public to be told more about what the police are up to in Dundee

The promise was made by the new chairwoman of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). Susan Deacon was speaking at an SPA board meeting in the Apex Hotel, two weeks after taking on her new role. Calling for more transparency and clarity, Ms Deacon said: “There has been criticism of the Scottish Police Authority in the past about the way business has been conducted. “I want to do everything in our power to respond to the concerns that have been raised and to promote greater clarity and transparency.” Ms Deacon said she also wanted to have a more “collaborative” approach between the SPA and other local organisations who have an interest in policing.


Forensic officers in Scotland to market their expertise to TV crime shows

Scotland’s forensic teams are set to market their crime-solving expertise to film producers and TV channels – as well as drug testing athletes at professional sports events – in a bid to raise extra money for the service. The growing commercialisation of the unit is part of the wider modernisation of policing in Scotland, which is due to be completed by 2026. Under the plans, forensic teams could be deployed to television studios to construct three-dimensional models that would help writers visualise the storylines they are working on.


Glasgow cops could use drones that see in the dark for spy missions

Intelligent drones that can see in the dark will be used for secret police spy missions, Police Scotland has said. Drones equipped with “intelligent computer systems and thermal imaging” are being developed by Scottish universities for use by the force. Plans are already under way to purchase two relatively low-tech off the shelf drones for Aberdeen and Inverness, primarily for use in missing persons searches.


Scottish rape victims ‘listened’ to with £2 million service boost

More than £2 million is to be invested to improve services for victims of rape and sexual assault following a critical watchdog report. The £2.25 million will help fund a standardised national written exam for forensic examiners and train more female examiners, as most victims prefer to be examined by a woman but this is currently not possible. It will also enable more examinations to be carried out in health clinics or social care facilities rather than in police premises. The investment follows a report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) earlier this year which said Scotland was “well behind” the rest of the UK when it came to having facilities which met both the needs of victims and the necessary forensic requirements.


Investigation into Lockerbie prosecutors nearing completion

Retired detectives, former prosecutors who now serve as judges and expert witnesses in the Lockerbie case will learn early in the new year if they will be charged with criminal conduct. Police Scotland said yesterday that Operation Sandwood, their investigation into claims of criminality by investigators and prosecutors, was at the reporting stage and was well advanced. The evidence uncovered will set the ball rolling on what could be the final act in the drama surrounding the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which claimed the lives of 270 people on December 21, 1988.


Fresh backing for drug consumption rooms could see Glasgow addicts given safe space to use

MP Ronnie Cowan says there is growing evidence that Drug Consumption Rooms have a positive effect. Plans for drug consumption rooms in Glasgow and across Scotland have been given fresh backing. The Home Office stalled plans earlier this month by saying creating a safe space for addicts to use drugs would be illegal.


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