Cash-strapped Police Scotland could use debt collectors
Police Scotland is considering employing a debt collection agency after writing off invoices totalling nearly £800,000 last year. The national force wrote off 1,332 invoices in 2016/17, including two “exceptional” write-offs to the value of £455,625. It brought the overall figure to £772,329, although the average figure over the last three years has been £260,000. In an update to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the force said it was considering using debt collectors to help recover the costs in future years.
Police Investigations and Complaints Commissioner resources ‘stretched to the limit’ by increased workload
An increase in complex cases has left the Police Investigations and Complaints Commissioner (PIRC) “stretched to the limit” and caused delays to investigations being completed, the commissioner, Kate Frame, has told the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee. Committee convener Margaret Mitchell had written to Frame to find out about resources over concerns at the length of time some investigations were taking. There have been particular concern about the length of time allegations of gross misconduct against the chief constable of Police Scotland, Phil Gormley, have taken to be resolved.
£1m budget boost to ‘help resource shortage that has impacted on current PIRC investigations’
Police Scotland’s complaints and misconduct scrutiny body is to recruit more staff after its resources were “stretched to the limit” last year, covering a rising tide of the most serious misconduct referrals at the highest level of policing. Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) Kate Frame has told the Scottish government she welcomes a £1 million increase in her budget in recognition of the acute demands facing staff.? Ms Frame told MSPs a shortage of resources had “undoubtedly” impacted on the speed of investigations. And she highlighted the “considerable rise” of top officer referrals from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). At the end of last month, the Commissioner received a new allegation of gross misconduct about Chief Constable Phil Gormley – the fifth referral about Police Scotland’s most senior officer from the force’s governing body in the past six months. All are currently being investigated.
Scots police chief tells MSPs to ‘end the stigma of drugs’
Scotland’s drug problem should be seen primarily as a health issue, rather than a police issue, a top police officer has claimed. Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, the head of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities department, called for an end to the ‘stigma’ of drug use before giving evidence to MSPs. Critics say his “regrettable” comments are a way of absolving the police of responsibility for drug enforcement. Dr Neil McKeganey, Director of the Centre for Substance Use Research, said labelling drug use a health issue was “inaccurate and unwelcome”. He said: “Drug use is as much a police issue as a health issue, as an educational issue.
Police support International Zero Tolerance Day for FGM
Today marks the International Zero Tolerance Day for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), and Police Scotland have thrown their support behind the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of this practice. FGM is a complex form of child abuse. Despite international outcry, it continues to be practiced in certain communities for reasons related to chastity, status, honour, marriageability, belonging, tradition, cleanliness or desirability. No religion condones FGM and most faith leaders have condemned it. Women from affected communities who oppose FGM may be shunned, ostracised or abused by their communities.
Stats reveal hundreds of depraved registered sex offenders living in Lanarkshire
There were hundreds of registered sex offenders living in Lanarkshire last year. The latest available figures, from the annual Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) report, show 450 sex offenders were being managed across both North and South Lanarkshire. MAPPA is a joint system to manage risks posed by offenders, with input from councils, Police Scotland, the NHS and the Scottish Prison Service. The report provides a snapshot of statistics relating to sex offenders at liberty across the county on March 31, 2017.
Inverness police control room closes
Police Scotland has confirmed the closure of their Inverness control room this week. According to Police Scotland, the “remodelling programme”, which was due to be completed today, Tuesday, aims to deliver a consistent national command and control system across the country. It will see the services previously provided in Inverness move to the North Area Control Room in Dundee, with call handling transferred to the Police Scotland Service Centre (PSSC) based in Bilston Glen, Motherwell and Govan.
No minutes for key meetings, says police watchdog
Scotland’s police watchdog has admitted no proper record was kept of key meetings, fuelling a secrecy row. The SPA was accused of ‘fly-by-night’ practices over the failure to keep official minutes.
Scandal of the criminals who are ‘punished’ with soft jobs
Soaring numbers of offenders, including thugs, vandals, drug-abusers and shoplifters have been spared court appearances and criminal records under a ‘soft-touch’ scheme. Instead, lawbreakers – and repeat offenders – have the option of decorating, gardening or helping in a charity shop.
Talks held to avoid Orange Order parades impasse
Ministers have with begun talks with police and local authorities to resolve an issue which could block the Orange Order and other organisations from holding marches and demonstrations. Police Scotland has said that it would no longer close roads for processions at short notice without a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRRO) after a report suggested that in doing do officers may be exceeding their powers.
Click here to read more.