Average speed cameras reduce dangerous driving on A90
Surveys carried out since the cameras were installed between Stonehaven and Dundee reveal 99 out of 100 motorists are complying with the speed limit. Previously three out of five vehicles were speeding before the cameras were installed at the end of October. The devices on the 50-mile stretch of road cost £2 million to install. Police Scotland welcomed the findings saying less speeding on the road reduces the chance of people being killed. The results of the surveys, carried out by Transport Scotland, also show that only one in every 5,000 vehicles is now speeding at more than 10mph over the limit.
Police force remains ‘strong and resilient’
Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable has said policing remains “strong and resilient” despite a series of complaints against senior officers. Iain Livingstone will appear before MSPs on Holyrood’s justice committee today alongside Susan Deacon, chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) board. Ahead of the meeting, Mr Livingstone said Police Scotland compared “favourably” with any police service anywhere in the world. Chief Constable Phil Gormley has been on leave since September while the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) looks into allegations of bullying.
Herald View: A high price to pay for reforming criminal justice
THERE are big changes coming to Scottish policing in the next few days and with big changes can come big problems. The aim of the new measures, we are told, is to modernise the arrest, custody and questioning procedures in Scotland and improve access to legal advice for people taken into custody. That is the aim. The reality appears to be shaping up rather differently. Much of the concern around the new rules, which will come into force this Thursday, focuses on the idea of so-called investigative liberation, which, like some of the rest of the Criminal (Scotland) Justice Act 2016, is fine in principle but more worrying in practice.
Sturgeon told to delay merger of Police Scotland and British Transport Police
Nicola Sturgeon will face demands tomorrow to put the merger of the British Transport Police and Police Scotland on hold because of the chaotic state of the police force’s leadership. The Scottish Conservatives will use their debating time in parliament to appeal to the first minister to pause the merger plans, due for April next year. Phil Gormley, Scotland’s chief constable, is on special leave while allegations of bullying, which he denies, are investigated. Bernard Higgins, assistant chief constable, has been suspended while investigations are completed into a series of allegations against him, including one of criminality. He denies all the claims.
Police Scotland launch crackdown on uninsured drivers
POLICE have launched a week-long crackdown on uninsured drivers across Scotland. Officers will be working with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) to identify people behind the wheel who do not have correct coverage. Operation Drive Insured Scotland, which runs between Monday and Sunday, will see police use the company’s database to look up policies and potentially seize vehicles if the terms are not up to standard. Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, head of road policing, said: “Officers will be using the latest intelligence to target potential uninsured drivers and hotspots, and by doing this we hope to minimise the inconvenience caused to the general public while maximising the effectiveness of the operation.
Courts must ‘follow through’ over knife crime sentencing, warns police chief
A top Scotland Yard officer has accused courts and prison authorities of not doing enough to help police tackle London’s knife crime epidemic. Assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt said young knife users needed to know they would face tough sentences, but would also be given rehabilitation to stop them re-offending. Mr Hewitt, in charge of the capital’s territorial policing, said: “We do get support from courts, but we are quite challenging when we think a sentence isn’t what was warranted. We will and we have appealed sentences.
SPA tells MSPs it has ended ‘closed’ board meetings
THE new chairwoman of Scotland’s police governing body has underlined she has ended the controversial practice of “closed” board meetings from which journalists and members of the public are barred. Susan Deacon, who took over the top position at the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in November, outlined the move in a submission to MSPs on Holyrood’s justice committee ahead of her first appearance before it today. “The previous practice of holding public meetings and closed meetings has been replaced and from now on there will simply be meetings of the SPA Board with consideration of items of private business as necessary, in line with established practice by other public bodies,” the SPA document said.
Pause for Thought
Police Scotland is in crisis and lacks leadership. This is no time for a complex merger. No doubt it appeared straightforward when it was first suggested: let’s bring Police Scotland and the British Transport Police together into one force and under one command. However, like so many apparently simple ideas in politics, the reality has proved to be much more difficult than anyone expected. The merger of the railway police force with Police Scotland is due to take place in 15 months yet there are so many areas that still need to be sorted out — from pensions to data systems and from command structures to cross-border working — that it seems impossible that the merger can go ahead on time.
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