28th March 2018

‘Smash a Fenian Day’ event brought to Police Scotland’s attention

An MSP has reported plans for a violent “Smash a Fenian Day” described by transport minister Humza Yousaf as “shocking and vile” to the police. The action by Glasgow Cathcart MSP James Dornan comes after he was sent a circular which appeared to show the plans for the violence on May 1. He said he expected it had been sent to “others they consider ‘fenians’”. The poster, which has been produced anonymously, says on that date “we urge all protestants to stand up and put all fenians back in their place as it is time for our religion to fight the plastic Irish in our country.”


Confidence in Scots police dips despite violent crime falling

The majority of crime in Scotland goes unreported, according to a new survey, which also found falling confidence in the police and concerns that criminals are not being punished properly. The Scottish Crime and ­Justice Survey found that just 37 per cent of crimes were reported to Police Scotland in 2016-17. The survey, based on interviews with almost 5,600 adults, also revealed that 
39 per cent of people thought appropriate punishments were given to offenders. Less than half (47 per cent) were confident about the efficiency of the justice system, but 78 per cent were sure that it allows for a fair trial.


LibDem MSP says Scotland should ‘open regulated drugs market’

Scotland should have its own “regulated cannabis market” to control the pricing and potency of the drug, a LibDem MSP had claimed. Alex Cole-Hamilton made the call after new figures showed the vast majority of police seizures involved cannabis. In total, the force seized 347.9 kg of herbal cannabis, 322.1kg of cannabis resin and 18,310 cannabis plants from dealers. That was, however, significantly down on the previous year’s figures.

Conversely, there was a huge increase in the number of seizures of Class C drugs, including Diazepam and other Benzodiazepines. Almost 2.2 million tablets were seized in 2016-17, compared to 1.3m tablets in 2015-16 and 1.2m in 2014-15.


Crime falls in Scotland but policing confidence decreases

Crime has fallen by almost a third but less than half of Scots are confident offenders are being punished appropriately, according to a new survey. The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016/17 revealed adults experienced around 712,000 crimes over the period, down 32 per cent from 2008/09, but unchanged since 2014/15. More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of this was property crime such as vandalism or theft with the remainder violent crime such as assault or robbery. Violent crime was also down 27 per cent since 2008/09, but has remained the same since 2014/15.


Use of ‘street Valium’ or ‘blue plague’ soaring in Scotland with 2.2m illegal pills seized last year

Police seized more than 2.2million diazepam pills from Scots dealers last year, as drug death numbers soared.  Recent statistics showed there were 867 drug-related deaths in Scotland – the highest figure per head of population in Europe – as use of “street Valium”, or “blue plague”, rose.  The pills haul by police was up from 1.3million the previous year.

However, the figures do not include the rise of etizolam and other former New Psychoactive Substances, which were reclassified as Class C drugs last June.


Police patrols increased because of anti-Muslim hate campaign

Police Scotland are to step up patrols around mosques and other religious buildings to reassure communities amidst an anti-Muslim hate campaign. Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne said call handlers had also been briefed to escalate calls appropriately, and “intelligence assets” were “looking for signals” in the coming days. The extra steps are being taken ahead of April 3, which has been dubbed “Punish a Muslim Day” on social media and in letters sent to several MPs in England earlier this month.


Police ‘tipped off about pay complaint’

Police Scotland were tipped off about an official complaint relating to payouts made to senior staff members by a member of the force watchdog, a tribunal has been told. Amy McDonald, a Scottish Police Authority (SPA) finance officer, submitted an application to the tribunals service highlighting potential financial wrongdoing within the organisation. She raised concerns after learning that Rose Fitzpatrick, 58, the deputy chief constable, had asked for almost £70,000 in relocation expenses to be paid in a tax-free cash transfer. She also questioned payments made to other senior members of Police Scotland, who cannot be named for legal reasons.


Most people believe punishments are failing to fit the crime

Less than half of Scots think that criminals are being punished appropriately by the courts while confidence in the police has fallen since the creation of Police Scotland. The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016-17 asked more than 5,500 adults to discover more about the perceptions of crime and the police, rather than just the number of crimes reported.

Extrapolated for the whole of Scotland, it estimated that about 712,000 crimes were committed in 2016-17, about a third less than in 2008-09. About two thirds of these crimes were property-related, such as vandalism and theft, and much of it was unreported. The rest was made up of more serious crimes such as assault and robbery.


Numerous UK police forces extracting mobile phone data without oversight

Police in the UK should not be allowed to access individuals’ phone data without a search warrant, privacy campaigners have said. At least 26 forces in England and Wales are using technology to extract data from phones – while Police Scotland has trialled extraction technology but said it does not currently use it. Privacy International, which has called for the immediate review of the practice, today published a report examining the tools used by police forces to extract mobile phone data.  It said the police are acting without clear safeguards for the public and no independent oversight to identify abuse and misuse of sensitive personal information.


White flag on petty crime

Nearly 2 in every 3 crimes are not reported to police as concerns grow about the SNP’s soft-touch approach to justice. Soaring numbers of criminals involved in property crimes such as vandalism, theft and break-ins are never punished, partly because victims believed officers ‘would not have been interested’.  The shocking new figures show confidence in police has waned and sparked fears that ‘the white flag is being raised on petty crime’.


Police DNA tagging spray to track offenders sparks civil liberties concerns

A police crackdown involving the use of a hand-held DNA spray on joyrider thugs last night sparked concerns over civil liberties. Officers will be issued with the tagging spray to target offenders who race around on motorbikes and will mark them with an invisible solution.  The unique substance sticks to clothes or skin for several months and can be used to link suspects to a specific crime.  But the makers of the SelectaDNA spray say police could use it when dealing with disorder at public events.



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