18th July 2019

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

18th July 2019

Scottish Government and council commit to drug death summit

THE Scottish Government has committed to holding an Emergency Drug Deaths Summit in Glasgow after calls by the Evening Times for urgent action to halt the shocking rise in drug related deaths. This week it was revealed that fatalities in Glasgow rocketed by 45% to 280 last year. It is an unprecedented increase in avoidable deaths in the city, far higher than the 27% increase across Scotland to 1187 deaths. As the figures were revealed, the Evening Times called on the UK Government, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to get together and hold a summit where they could hear first hand the problems in Glasgow from those affected and the service providers working on the front line.


Review urged after woman sets herself on fire in police van

Officers have been told to review their procedures after a 25-year-old woman suffered severe burns when she set fire to her clothing in the back of a police van. The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) called on the force to examine its “guidance to officers on monitoring persons” following the dramatic incident earlier this year.


Scottish policing expert says force too overstretched to tackle country’s drugs death crisis

A leading Scottish policing expert has claimed the force is overstretched and underfunded to tackle the country’s drugs death crisis. Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), said each of the near-1,200 deaths was a national emergency. Mr Steele, who has served on the SPF board for a decade, said each death presented an opportunity to investigate the crimes committed by death “peddler” drug dealers. He added police were struggling to chase up leads, because of a lack of funding from Holyrood. He said: “Just under 1,200 drugs deaths in Scotland is indeed a national emergency. “It is right addiction is looked at as a health issue but behind every one of these deaths a dealer somewhere profited and cares not a jot.


Ambulance staff on call victims of attacks

More than 200 assaults were committed against north region Scottish Ambulance Service staff at work over the past six years, according to new figures. In the largest of all Scotland’s three ambulance teams, hard-working personnel have to cover emergencies across 15,607 square miles including Grampian, the Highlands and Islands. Information obtained by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed there were 208 attacks on medics specifically on calls in that area.


PIRC: Police should review guidance on transporting people

An independent investigation has recommended that Police Scotland undertakes a review of the guidance given to officers regarding monitoring people being transported in police vehicles. The recommendation comes after a 25-year-old woman suffered severe burns when she set fire to her clothing in the back of a police van in Glasgow on Saturday 27 April 2019.


Shock after north-east drug death numbers reach new record

Drug deaths in the north-east are at their highest level since records began in 1996, according to new figures. There were 92 drug-related deaths in the NHS Grampian area last year, compared to 85 in 2017 and 68 in 2016. And the figures have tripled from the 29 recorded in 1996.


Shock as north and north-east gay hate crimes soar by 50% in two years

The number of hate crimes targeting people in the north and north-east because of their sexual orientation has soared in the last two years.


Memorial for Trump’s Secret Service agent who died in Scotland

A memorial has been unveiled in tribute to a US Secret Service agent who died during President Trump’s visit to Scotland last year. Special agent Nole Edward Remagen, 42, a former US Marine, became unwell and died while escorting the President at Turnberry in July 2018. On Wednesday, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire.


Climate change protest cost £500,000 to police

Policing a large environmental protest outside Holyrood cost the taxpayer almost £500,000. Activists spent a week demonstrating by the Scottish parliament last month as MSPs debated new legislation on setting targets to tackle climate change. Extinction Rebellion Scotland, which organised the protest, criticised politicians for voting through amendments to the Climate Change Bill to cut greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2045, 20 years past the target that the campaigners had set.


Man admits assaulting ambulance service worker and police officer in Wishaw

A man admitted assaulting a member of the ambulance service and a police officer in Wishaw. Kevin McCafferty hit out at the cop and an ambulance technician during the incident in Wishaw Main Street on July 8. The 29-year-old, of Gorsehall Street, Cleland, pleaded guilty to four charges against him when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week. McCafferty committed the offences while he was released on police bail. During the course of the incident, the accused pushed the paramedic on the body and behaved in a threatening manner by shouting, swearing, acting aggressively and making homophobic comments.



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