Scottish football accused of sweeping sectarianism under carpet
Scottish football is not doing enough to tackle sectarianism, according to some of those employed by the league to help identify it. A number of current and former match delegates have told BBC Scotland of their dismay at reporting the problem only for no action to be taken. “It was so frustrating,” said one. “And I know that some of the delegates who are still working today are absolutely appalled that nothing has changed.”
Action needed to tackle fall in police special constables, MSP warns
“Swift action” is needed to tackle a sharp fall in the number of special constables in the Highlands, a regional MSP has warned. The number has fallen by more than a third since 2013 according to new figures released by Police Scotland. The figures from a freedom of information request show that since 2013, some 45 officers have been lost, with numbers down from 123 in 2013 to 78 in 2018 – a fall of 35 per cent.
Special constable numbers in south of Scotland drop by more than 50 percent
Concerns have been raised over a significant drop in the number of special constables supporting police in the south of Scotland. A Freedom of Information request from the Scottish Conservatives shows there were nearly 80 fewer special constables working in Dumfries and Galloway in 2018, compared to 2013. The total number this year is 38, compared to 117 in 2013. The Lothians and Scottish Borders region also saw a large drop over the same period, from 102 to 52. Finlay Carson MSP, who represents Galloway and West Dumfries, says that local communities are being “let down”.
Cops’ U-turn on policing traffic at public events
Police Scotland appears to have reversed its decision to take a back seat on traffic management duties for public events like gala days. At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee earlier today, Councillor David Alexander stated Police Scotland had agreed – for the time being – to go back to the status quo with regards to traffic management of public events until the issue is fully resolved. Councillor Alexander: “The issue is still on the table – it’s still to be fully addressed.” Councillor Dennis Goldie said: “It’s a good outcome for everyone – a good result for gala days and people in the area.”
Cuts to domestic abuse services are sidelined by the focus on criminal justice, campaigners say
Sisters Uncut Edinburgh, a campaign group which forms part of a UK-wide movement against cuts to domestic abuse services, has said the Scottish Government should do much more to protect vital support services, and that the focus on criminal justice has sidelined this issue. The campaigners have said that the political conversation on domestic abuse has put the focus firmly on the criminal justice system through the Domestic Abuse Bill, which the group describes as a “dangerous distraction” from cuts which are leaving too many survivors unsupported. The Domestic Abuse Bill was passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament in February 2018, creating a specific criminal offence of domestic abuse, which includes psychological abuse and has been widely celebrated by the gender based violence sector and women’s organisations.
620 Scots cops busted over speeding, drink and drugs driving offences
A total of 629 police officers have been caught breaking the law while driving over the past five years, official figures show. The numbers stopped for speeding, drink and drugs offences or for using mobile phones at the wheel doubled in just two years. In all, 158 were nicked for speeding in 2016 both on and off duty, up from 79 in 2014.
9 out of 10 dodge jail over domestic abuse
Nearly 90% of thugs who attack or abuse their partners are spared prison. Ministers have repeatedly trumpeted their ‘get tough’ approach on domestic abuse. But new figures show only 13.7% of such offenders – one in seven – are locked up. The disclosure comes after MSPs passed legislation aimed at tackling psychological domestic abuse.
Now inmates get personal trainers and steroid tips!
Prisoners now have their own personal trainers who advise them on ‘diet, nutrition and steroid awareness’. Inmates at HMP Inverness are ‘encouraged to plan their physical activities’ with gym staff who offer ‘bespoke personal fitness programmes’, according to a watchdog.
Warning over psychoactive drugs in Scotland’s prisons
The presence of psychoactive substances is undermining the “sense of safety” in Scotland prisons, it has been warned. A report published today by the chief inspector of prisons said a recent inspection of HMP Inverness had found an influx of “Spice”, an illegal new psychoactive substance (NPS), which was thought to be arriving in prisoners’ mail. David Strang said the drug’s availability had created “uncertainty and anxiety” in the prison, which houses around 100 inmates. Mr Strang said the presence of NPS had become an “emerging theme” from recent inspections of other prisons and he called on the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to carry out research into the problem.
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