9th Feb 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

TO paraphrase Vladimir Lenin, “an opinion, no matter how invalid, told often enough becomes the truth”. And so it is with the opinion that everything carried out in the name of Police Scotland is wrong whereas, before its creation, policing in Scotland’s was, if not perfect, far superior to that currently being experienced. As some politicians, former police officers, the media and even academics eagerly climb on this particular bandwagon the truth moves further and further from view.


Police have raised concerns about the availability of ambulances after officers had to rush a man to hospital while performing CPR. The patient, who had taken an overdose, was sped to A&E in Greenock earlier this week in the back of a police van after officers were told paramedics would take 20 minutes to reach them. The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents rank and file officers, said its members were increasingly being called on to respond to medical emergencies. It is understood the incident in Inverclyde, which took place at around 7pm on Wednesday, was initially classed as being not life-threatening by the ambulance service following a call from police officers.

Nicola Sturgeon is to consider changing the law to stop ministers having control over who becomes head of the Scottish Police Authority, the body which oversees the police force. The first minister conceded that there may be grounds for looking at the process after criticism that ministers have too much control. Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, pressed Ms Sturgeon to bring the SPA into line with other organisations where appointments are made by the Scottish parliament, not ministers.


Police watchdog did not examine activities of notorious undercover officer

A POLICE watchdog tasked with examining undercover policing in Scotland has admitted it did not look into the activities of a notorious officer who had sexual relationships with some of those he investigated. Derek Penman, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, said he did not think it “appropriate or necessary” to investigate the details of Mark Kennedy’s actions north of the border. Mr Kennedy is one of five officers known to have had relationships with women while undercover, and spent years infiltrating protest groups for the Metropolitan Police.


Opposition politicians claim a small rise in police officer numbers masks frontline staff filling in back office roles. The latest official statistics on officer numbers rose by six full-time equivalent (FTE) in the final quarter of 2017. There were 17,256 FTE officers on December 31 2017, no change from the same date from the previous year. The number of officers has risen by 1,022 (6.3%) FTE since March 2017.


Sturgeon and Davidson clash over justice secretary

Scottish party leaders have clashed over the conduct of the justice secretary in the wake of the resignation of Phil Gormley as Police Scotland’s chief constable. Gormley’s decision to quit on Wednesday in the face of five separate misconduct allegations against him means Scotland’s national police force is seeking a third chief in five years. Justice secretary Michael Matheson has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for intervening in a decision last year by the former chairman of Scotland’s police watchdog to reinstate Gormley.


Firearms officers were justified in shooting out the tyres of a car which had rammed a police vehicle, a watchdog has ruled. Officers used two rounds on the vehicle in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, in April last year. Steven McArdle, one of nine men jailed last month for their part in a serious organised crime gang, is understood to have been in the car.


Nicola Sturgeon has left the door open to changing the law so that the head of the police watchdog is no longer appointed by the Justice Secretary. Ms Sturgeon accepted that the change should be considered when challenged over the resignation of chief constable Phil Gormley at First Minister’s Questions. Mr Gormley’s departure dominated the weekly joust at Holyrood with Richard Leonard renewing Labour’s calls for Justice Secretary Michael Matheson to quit over his handling of the chief constable’s position.


Chris Marshall: Policing isn’t in crisis – just its leadership

The appointment of Phil Gormley in late 2015 was supposed to usher in an period of relative stability for Police Scotland following its tumultuous first two years. But while Scottish policing remains on a sound footing overall, its senior leadership has continued to dominate headlines for all the wrong reasons. Since the chief constable went on leave in September, it has felt like barely a week has gone by without further allegations coming to light, all of which were denied by Mr Gormley.


Matheson accused of ‘betrayal’ over undercover policing

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has ruled out holding a public inquiry into undercover policing despite an independent report finding English officers spied on activists in Scotland. A review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS), which was published yesterday, found undercover officers attached to the Metropolitan Police’s former Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the now defunct National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) were deployed in Scotland at various points between 1997 and 2010, including during the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005.


Scotland’s next chief constable ‘will be English’

Scotland’s beleaguered national police force will have to recruit its next chief constable from England, a former senior officer has claimed. Colin McKerracher, the former chief constable of Grampian Police, said that it was “inevitable” Police Scotland would have to look south of the border to replace Phil Gormley, who resigned on Wednesday. He was a former chief constable of Norfolk police. Mr Gormley, who had been on special leave for five months, said he could see no way back to his job after he was accused of bullying. Five investigations into his conduct have now been dropped. He denied the allegations. Iain Livingstone, the acting chief constable has been tipped as Mr Gormley’s successor, but Mr McKerracher said the appointment was unlikely.


Youth arrested after Glasgow crash involving police car

Two police officers were taken to hospital after their marked car was involved in a crash. Officers had been called out to a teenager causing a disturbance in Langbar Gardens, Glasgow, at about 19:30 on Thursday. When they arrived, the youth drove off, heading towards Glasgow’s east end and collided with the police car in London Road at about 20:15. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident. Two police officers were taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment. It is understood the police car involved in the crash was not involved with the earlier incident and was dealing with other matters.


Two cops trapped in car smash wreckage cut free as 17-year-old arrested in incident in east end of Glasgow

TWO cops trapped inside a car smash wreckage had to be cut free and taken to hospital as a man was arrested in Glasgow’s east end. The cops’ marked motor was involved in a smash on London Road near Kerr Street amid a police incident this evening. Firefighters and paramedics raced to the police car to free the officers inside. A spokesperson for the force said: “The police car was cut open as a precautionary for the ambulance service to assess them.”



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