Justice Secretary to be quizzed over Chief Constable’s special leave
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson will be questioned by MSPs this afternoon about Police Scotland’s Chief Constable going on special leave. Michael Matheson is due to make a statement at Holyrood after claims he stepped in to block Phil Gormley’s return to work. Mr Gormley was placed on special leave in September amid allegations of gross misconduct, which he denies. Mr Matheson has been accused of “interfering” in the decision over whether he should return to active duty after the board of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) gave Mr Gormley its unanimous backing to go back to work in November.
Justice Secretary to be quizzed over Phil Gormley’s special leave
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson is to face questions from MSPs about Chief Constable Phil Gormley’s period of special leave from Police Scotland. Mr Matheson is to give a statement to the Scottish Parliament after claims were made he stepped in to block the senior police officer’s return to work. Mr Gormley was placed on special leave in September amid investigations into allegations of gross misconduct, which he denies, and has not been back to work since.
Scotland’s top cop Phil Gormley concerned over ‘delays’ into alleged misconduct
Scotland’s top police officer has raised concerns that an investigation into his alleged misconduct has suffered from “significant delays”. A lawyer representing Chief Constable Phil Gormley said the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) was still to take a statement from a senior police officer who was a “key witness” in a complaint five months after the matter had been referred to them.
Police chief Phil Gormley complains of misconduct probe ‘delays’
Scotland’s top police officer has raised concerns about “significant delays” in an investigation into his alleged misconduct. A lawyer representing Chief Constable Phil Gormley insisted the complaints against him were “vexatious” and “opportunistic”. David Morgan also said that while Gormley had “maintained a dignified public silence” since the allegations were made, his client had “very serious concerns over the significant delays and proportionality of the investigation being undertaken by the PIRC [the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner]”.
Legal aid system in crisis as lawyers shun police duty scheme
Scotland’s finely balanced criminal legal aid system is on the brink of meltdown after a wave of solicitors pulled out of the police station duty rota that provides advice to suspects. With over 250 more considering a similar move, the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), which runs the police station duty scheme, is facing the prospect of having to increase its own team of lawyers to cover the work. This could lead to a significant increase in the overall cost to the public purse via the legal aid fund.
Chief Constable ‘surprised’ he has not been allowed to return to work
Scotland’s top police officer has raised concerns that an investigation into his alleged misconduct has suffered from “significant delays”. A lawyer representing Chief Constable Phil Gormley insisted the complaints against Scotland’s top police officer were “vexatious” and “opportunistic”, and said that while Mr Gormley had “maintained a dignified public silence” since the allegations were made, his client had “very serious concerns over the significant delays and proportionality of the investigation being undertaken by the PIRC (police investigations and review commissioner)”.
Transport police takeover is politics before good sense
The House of Lords will today debate, at the behest of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, the proposed takeover of the British Transport Police role in Scotland by Police Scotland. In response, the UK government should make clear that it will defend the public interest for the whole of Britain rather than accede to an unreasonable political demand. Sir Tom Winsor, head of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, damned the takeover as “entirely political” and unsustained by any business (ie policing) case. He warned against underestimating “the scope and scale of the challenges posed by the transfer”, not to mention the unknown costs. In return for what? Where is the evidence of any public dissatisfaction with the status quo?
Justice Secretary outraged as cop bosses keep him in the dark over secret plot to get ‘bully’ chief Phil Gormley back to work
Cop bosses hatched a secret plot for bully probe Chief Constable Phil Gormley to return to work. The Scottish Police Authority kept Justice Secretary Michael Matheson in the dark for days over the top officer’s comeback bid from gardening leave. But raging Michael Matheson vetoed Phil Gormley’s return after learning he had been blanked for 48 hours. The Justice Secretary flipped when told of the hushed-up plot by sneaky police bosses who casually asked for a “quick word” before revealing they agreed the deal two days earlier.
SCOTTISH SUN SAYS
Police Scotland’s catalogue of blunders surrounding top cop Chief Constable Phil Gormley is too extreme to make up
The atmosphere of chaos, catastrophe and downright incompetence surrounding the Scottish Police Authority has deepened again with the latest revelations over Chief Constable Phil Gormley. Not only did SPA board bunglers decide Mr Gormley was cleared to return to work amid bullying allegations, they waited two full days before telling Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.
Police Scotland continue to fight employment tribunal ruling on Govan nightshift payments
Police Scotland are continuing their legal bid to block a £62,000 payout to staff – who found out that they were being underpaid 12 years ago. Call handlers who manned the force’s Govan centre won an employment tribunal over money they were owed for nightshifts. The £62,000 bill includes a payout of £25,842 to one employee and another single payment of £18,697. The Daily Record revealed today that the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), has run up a hefty legal bill fighting the claim and referenced one expert who said that the bill for defending the action could now be as high as £100,000.
Police currently in ‘state of chaos’, say North Ayrshire councillors
Councillors voted to condemn the merger of Scotland’s national force with British Transport Police, saying Police Scotland is currently in a ‘state of chaos’. This was after Conservative group put in a motion that the council instruct its Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Justice Secretary expressing concern at ‘the lack of effective leadership’ in the force and that the Council believes the merger should be put on hold. However SNP members said the wording of the motion insults police ‘from the bottom to the top’ and attacked the Labour administration for siding with the Conservatives.
One in 28 drivers stopped in Scotland failed drink driving tests over Christmas
One in 28 drivers stopped in Scotland over the festive break failed drink and drug driving tests in a damning result that has left police “disappointed”. The proportion of drivers found to be over the legal limit increased during a four-week drink/drug enforcement campaign across Christmas. Figures from Police Scotland showed an average 471 drivers were breathalysed every day during the 2017/18 festive crackdown. Of the 15,771 drivers stopped, a total of 567 – or one in 28 – were detected for drink/drug driving. The result was an increase compared with 625 – 1 in 30 – stopped during the same period in 2016/17. The number of drivers who tested between the old and new limits dropped from 57 (9 per cent) last year to 18 (3 per cent) this year.