Politicians interfering with policing, Colin McKerracher claims
Scotland’s single police force was set up for political reasons and is now subject to regular ministerial meddling, a former chief constable has warned. Colin McKerracher, who used to lead Grampian police before it was absorbed into Police Scotland, criticised Michael Matheson, the justice secretary, for involving himself in a decision over whether the suspended chief constable, Phil Gormley, should return to work. He said that the present set-up was “not working” because the force could not adapt to the different needs of different parts of the country.
Third of rapes go unsolved across Dundee and Tayside area
New figures, provided to the Tele via a freedom of information request, show that 762 rape reports have been recorded since 2014. Of that figure, 253 went undetected by Tayside Police Division. Detection rates up to December 2017 dropped to 121, down from 127 the previous financial year. During 2016-17, there were 206 rape reports made to police, which fell to 185 the following year. More than 40% of rape allegations in Dundee are of a historical nature, higher than the Scottish average. Historical allegations are classed by Police Scotland as reports made more than one year after the incident took place.
Former Scottish police chief brands single force a ‘political move’
A candidate for the post of Scotland’s chief constable has claimed that the Scottish Government has been interfering politically in policing since the dawn of devolution almost 20 years ago. Colin McKerracher, the former chief constable of Grampian Police, said the very creation of a single force was a “political move”. He said: “The police didn’t want it, the public had no great appetite for it, so why did it happen? It happened because the SNP government wanted to ‘brand’ it Scottish, along with the Scottish Health Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Exclusive: Former chief constable delivers scathing verdict on Government’s interference with Scotland’s police force
Colin McKerracher said undue political interference has increased in recent years and has, on occasion, been unconstitutional. The former Grampian chief branded the merger of eight regional forces into the national Police Scotland as “unwanted and unnecessary” and said the single force had been launched for political not operational reasons. He said: “We are now seeing it is not working. Police are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons now, failing call centres, senior officers complaining about other senior officers.”
Scotland takes the fight against domestic abuse a big step further
Scottish Women’s Aid has welcomed new legislation against abusive and controlling behaviour as a vital message to victims – “the law is there for you”. Whereas existing laws dealt mainly with the threat of violence a new “gold standard” regime passed by MSPs will now target psychological abuse and coercive control. Justice Minister Michael Matheson said that until now it has been hard to tackle abusers who use psychological intimidation and control short of actual violence. The new system means that bullies who slipped through the legal net before because they did not hit their partners can now be dealt with if a clear pattern of abuse can be demonstrated.
Inside the paedophile rehab centre that’s helping child-sex offenders
How do you stop a paedophile from being a paedophile? To the vast majority of the Scottish public, the idea of spending your working life in the company of child sex offenders is a vision of hell, but tucked away in a back street in Edinburgh are the offices of a little-known charity that work tirelessly to prevent paedophiles from offending. In therapy sessions, Stop It Now offers courses for a growing group of paedophiles who claim they want to stop looking at online child abuse images and overcome their sexual attraction to children. The sex offenders are asked to take part in roleplay confessing their crimes to members of their families, and write letters to an imagined victim of abuse.
Nicola Sturgeon urged to investigate Justice Secretary over police chief ‘interference’ row
The First Minister has been called on to launch an investigation into Justice Secretary Michael Matheson over claims he misled Holyrood about his role in stopping Police Scotland’s chief constable from returning to work. Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said Matheson, who effectively overturned the Scottish Police Authority decision to allow Phil Gormley to come back, breached the Ministerial Code over his account of his dealings with the SPA. However, the Government defended Matheson by saying he had acted “entirely appropriately at all times”.
Domestic abusers let off with fines and warnings
Soaring numbers of domestic abusers are being let off with fines or warning letters, allowing them to escape a conviction. Official figures show almost 1400 charges, including sex crimes and assault, resulted in ‘direct measures’ – up nearly 70% in a year.
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