10th July 2019

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

10th July 2019

Police union issued stark safety warning over new car park levy

A letter sent by Scottish Police Federation (SPF) general secretary Calum Steele said the chances of uniformed officers being “targeted” could rise sharply if they were to travel to work on public transport. He also highlighted to the ongoing threat of terrorism, and the advice that officers should not travel to work in a visible uniform. The correspondence was sent to Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf in February, and has now been released under Freedom of Information laws, following an appeal by the Scottish Conservatives. Mr Steele, who has previously spoken out against the potential impact of the proposed workplace parking levy, said in the letter that the union’s members were “vehemently opposed” to the tax.


Video guide launched to help sexual violence survivors understand justice system

Rape Crisis Scotland has launched an updated video guide to help survivors of sexual violence understand the criminal justice system. The video sets out each stage of the process clearly and features key people that survivors will come into contact with during the justice process – including a specially trained police officer, a rape crisis advocacy worker, a Procurator Fiscal, a defence lawyer, a prosecution lawyer and a judge.


Joe Fitzpatrick: Rising drug deaths are ‘public emergency’

RISING drugs deaths represent a public emergency a Scottish Government minister said as the death toll in Glasgow is set to top 200 a year. Joe Fitzpatrick, public health minister spoke at Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee on problem drug use. He said the law needs to be changed to allow a different approach to be followed as the problem is far worse in Scotland that the rest of the UK. Mr Fitzpatrick said: “We need action now. People are dying in Scotland. We have an emergency and we want to act now.


Officer guilty of sex assault cannot retire

A policeman who was convicted of sexually assaulting two women will not be allowed to retire until disciplinary proceedings against him have concluded, a senior judge has ruled.


Police chiefs warn officer safety could be at risk if SNP workplace parking tax forces them to ditch cars

Police safety could be put at risk if they are forced to ditched their cars due to Nats’ workplace parking tax, police leaders warn. Rank-and-file chiefs fear bobbies would be vulnerable to attacks on public transport by crooks they’ve nicked. And they believe a “specific terror threat” to officers would be worsened if they stopped driving to work to avoid being stung for more tax.


‘Urgent action’ needed to halt increase in Scottish drugs deaths

Scotland’s public health minister has demanded “urgent action” to halt the rising toll of drugs deaths, and told MPs he would work with the UK government to find new ways of tackling problem drug use if it is not possible to devolve responsibility to Holyrood. Joe FitzPatrick said Scotland was facing an “emergency”, with drugs deaths expected to rise from 900 in 2017 to about 1,200 last year, and claimed the introduction of a safe drugs consumption room would help to save lives.


Police ‘justified’ for use of taser on a man they feared may harm himself

An independent investigation has found police were justified in using a Taser on a 20-year-old man in Bannockburn who they feared may harm himself. Officers went to a house at around midnight on Saturday March 30 this year, following reports that a man was in possession of a knife. Based on the information they had available, including reports of a history of threats of self-harm, they believed it possible he was going to take his own life. An investigation report, for the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC), found that a Specially Trained Officer (STO) initially ordered the man to drop the knife, but he refused to comply. When challenged a second time he dropped the weapon but ran towards another part of the house.


Lord Advocate “simply cannot” approve safe injecting rooms without drug law reform

The Lord Advocate told the Scottish Affairs Committee that a change in drugs law would have to occur before safe consumption rooms could be allowed. A change in drug laws would have to take place before safe consumption rooms could be introduced, Scotland’s top legal officer has said. The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, told the Scottish Affairs Committee on Tuesday that while he does have the power to instruct police not to refer people caught with illegal drugs for criminal proceedings, this alone would not lead to giving consumption rooms the green light. He stood by his 2017 decision to block plans for a facility in Glasgow that would allow users to take drugs under supervision and insisted that a change of the Misuse of Drugs Act was necessary before he would consider signing off on one in future.


“Explosive” letter spells out police anger over Scots parking tax

An “explosive” letter from police representatives setting out the potential dangers faced by officers from a proposed car parking tax has been released through Freedom of Information. The warning, penned by Scottish Police Federation (SPF) general secretary Calum Steele, details the feared impact on officers of the plan to allow local councils to implement a workplace parking levy.



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