Tayside’s top police officer: Tackling “huge” mental health demand is force’s greatest challenge
Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Paul Anderson said the force in Tayside is dealing with a complicated “mix of demand” and is looking at new ways of taking on difficult social problems across the wider spectrum of Scotland’s public services. The force faced criticism last month following a spike in violent and sexual crime but Mr Anderson revealed the service is looking to reinforce relationships with third party and charity bodies to help drive down the number of serious incidents. “Mental health is not just an issue for the health service,” he said.
Concern over number of rail police set to quit new force
Around two-thirds of British Transport Police officers are unsure whether they will transfer to Police Scotland following a controversial merger. Around two-thirds of British Transport Police officers are unsure whether they will transfer to Police Scotland following a controversial merger. An internal staff survey obtained by The Scotsman shows just 35 per cent of BTP officers and 45 per cent of civilian staff intend to move across once railway policing is integrated into the national force. Sixteen per cent of employees said they were considering leaving BTP before integration but were waiting for more information before deciding. The figure rose to around 20 per cent for police officers. Legislation passed last year by Holyrood will see Police Scotland assume responsibility for railway policing from March 2019 despite concerns from the railway industry, staff associations and trade unions.
Concern over role of TV cameras in Scottish courts
Increasing the presence of TV cameras in Scotland’s courts could discourage expert witnesses from giving evidence, according to a leading forensic scientist. Professor Dame Sue Black said that televising trial proceedings would make a “challenging environment” even more stressful for scientists asked to appear. Work is currently under way to implement the recommendations of a review led by Lady Dorrian which called for a relaxation of the rules, including the broadcasting of civil and criminal appeals and allowing the filming of some criminal trials for documentary purposes. While live broadcasts of criminal trials appears some way off, Prof Black said such a move would probably put off experts from appearing. She said: “Every single time an expert gets up into the witness box, their reputation is on the line. Depending upon how it goes in court, you will either come out as the greatest witness in the world or perhaps a lot less so.
Report says terrorism prevention is one of six key themes to make Dundee safer place
The draft Dundee Community Safety Outcome Improvement Plan 2017/2022, set to go before councillors next week, aims to reduce crime, domestic abuse and antisocial behaviour. It also aims to improve road safety in the city, reduce re-offending and improved fire safety in the local area. The plan has six key themes of crime reduction, home and fire safety, antisocial behaviour, vulnerability, terrorism prevention and road safety. Within those, the council and its partners — including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Dundee Alcohol and Drugs, Health and Social Care and Violence Against Women Partnerships — have more specific priorities such as bogus callers, discarded needles and antisocial use of motorbikes.