24th Jan 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

Warning over ‘impossible’ merger of Police Scotland and British Transport Police

Further doubts have been cast on the controversial merger of Police Scotland and transport police north of the border, with a senior officer warning that a full amalgamation “will not be possible” by the April 2019 deadline. Chief Superintendent John McBride said in a statement to British Transport Police (BTP) staff that government officials would be informed about the situation at a meeting on January 30. He said Police Scotland had put forward an alternative option of “operational integration” which means the single force taking over railway policing and all BTP staff but relying on BTP for support in areas such as technology, funding and data access.


Police chief Phil Gormley will remain on leave while bullying inquiry continues

The head of Scotland’s troubled police force will not be returning to work for the foreseeable future, The Times has learnt. Chief Constable Phil Gormley has been on special leave since September while investigations into allegations of bullying, which he denies, are investigated. The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) agreed to assess his leave status every month and the watchdog is due to make a decision on Mr Gormley’s immediate future tomorrow.


There is no crisis, insists Scotland’s acting police chief

There is no crisis in Scotland’s troubled police force, despite the absence of the chief constable and investigations into a number of other senior officers, the acting head of Police Scotland has insisted. Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, who is running Police Scotland in the absence of the chief constable, Phil Gormley, mounted a staunch defence of his officers, arguing that they had solved every murder in Scotland and kept the country running smoothly. “There are issues within Police Scotland, there are issues around governance and accountability,” he admitted. But he added: “There is no crisis in policing.”


Sophisticated crime gang snared by new forensic techniques pioneered in Scotland

Scotland’s most sophisticated crime gang was snared thanks to ground breaking new forensic techniques being pioneered in Scotland. Nine men involved in a violent £100million-a-year cocaine syndicate were jailed for a total of 87 years on Monday. Their crimes included the torture of known drug dealer Robert Allan over a £30k debt. Police also discovered a deadly cache of guns in a specially modified car. Members of the gang met cartel leaders in Brazil to arrange cocaine shipments to the UK and used counter-surveillance equipment – usually only available to secret services – to evade the law. But they were brought to justice thanks not only by police and prosecutors but also by independent forensic scientists.


New SPA chair Susan Deacon backs Michael Matheson in chief constable row

The new chair of the Scottish Police Authority has defended Justice Secretary Michael Matheson for questions the judgment of her predecessor over the botched plan to reinstate beleaguered Chief Constable Phil Gormley. Susan Deacon, who took control of the body who oversee Police Scotland’s £1 billion budget, told Holyrood’s Justice Committee the SNP minister would have been “failing in his duty” had he not intervened. Acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone also criticised the previous SPA leadership, saying they had, effectively, cut him out of the loop over what was happening with Gormley.


Police overseer backs Justice Secretary in Chief Constable row

The new head of Police Scotland’s oversight body has blamed her predecessor and backed the Justice Secretary in the row over reinstating the country’s absentee Chief Constable. Susan Deacon, chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) since December, told MSPs that a key decision under former chair Andrew Flanagan was “wanting in many, many ways”. A former Labour Health minister, Professor Deacon also said she would have done the same as Justice Secretary Michael Matheson when he questioned a flawed SPA decision.


Full Transport Police merger in Scotland ‘on the skids’ as force seeks new option

Police Scotland is examining a new option which avoids a full merger with the British Transport Police north of the border following issues with integration of IT systems and officers’ terms and conditions and pensions. Chief Superintendent John McBride said in a statement to British Transport Police (BTP) staff that any full merger “will not be possible” by the April 2019 deadline. He confirmed Police Scotland has put forward an alternative option of “operational integration” which means the single force taking over railway policing and all BTP staff but relying on BTP for support in areas such as technology, funding and data access.



Acting top cop Iain Livingstone he was lied to about secret plot to bring back bully probe boss Phil Gormley

Stand-in top cop Iain Livingstone has suggested he’d been lied to about a secret plot to bring back his bully probe boss Phil Gormley. The acting chief constable told MSPs he was informed “deliberations were ongoing” about Mr Gormley’s return — the day after it was decided he would resume duties. He was finally told two days later that the chief constable’s “special leave” had been extended. But he said ex-Scottish Police Authority chairman Andrew Flanagan did not reveal that Mr Gormley’s comeback was agreed then scuppered after Justice Secretary Michael Matheson found out and intervened.



Acting cop boss Iain Livingstone sticks knife in to Scottish Police Authority like trained assassin

With all the quiet calm of a trained assassin, Acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone stuck the knife in to the Scottish Police Authority today, not once but twice. Mr Livingstone told Holyrood’s Justice Committee that, on the day after the SPA decided to allow Chief Constable Phil Gormley to return to work from his extended leave, he was told the decision process was still ongoing.



Bungling Scottish Police Authority chief John Foley WILL be paid full £100k early retirement deal

A bungling cop boss will be paid his full £100,000 golden goodbye despite concerns it was “rewarding failure”. A Scottish Police Authority review confirmed John Foley will get a £57,000 handshake — on top of his £43,000 early retirement payment. Tonight, the Tory shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said the call was “very disappointing”.  He said: “SNP promised to tackle excessive golden goodbyes years ago but the taxpayer’s still footing the bill for contracts that reward failure.”



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