12th April 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

Outcry over division of new community police officers in Borders

A former Borders police chief has slammed the decision not to base any officers making up the region’s new community policing team in Hawick. Watson McAteer, now a councillor for Hawick and Hermitage, says that the new team of a sergeant and six officers, due to be officially unveiled next week, is not being distributed fairly. Speaking at Monday’s meeting of Hawick Community Council, Mr McAteer, also honorary provost for the town, told members: “From April 1, you have all contributed over £280,000 for a sergeant and officers in a community action team who will focus on everything that’s got a local side to it.


Kenny MacAskill: The reasons behind the remarkable fall in homicides

If we are to tackle murderous violence, we must build a safe, hopeful and equal society, writes Kenny MacAskill It’s little wonder that London’s looking north for ideas on tackling violence. As shown this week, the reduction in homicides in Scotland has been remarkable, especially when placed in an international context, with a fall of around 60 per cent over the past ten years. Scotland, though, can’t rest on its laurels as violent crime still remains too high and knife-carrying has been creeping up. The progress that has been made was achieved in a variety of ways but primarily through a recognition that it couldn’t be achieved through law enforcement alone. As the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) correctly analysed, violence was and is a public health problem. It requires to be solved in our communities not just through our courts.


Warning of crimewave as rural thefts rocket

The company has issued a warning to farmers to increase security as their
latest estimates show that theft cost rural homes, businesses and farms £44.5m in 2017, the highest level in four years.  NFUM rural affairs specialist Tim Price said farmers and country people had revealed widespread concern that more criminals were targeting the countryside and going for richer pickings. He added that no part of the country was exempt from the trend.  “From the south-east of England to the north of Scotland we’re seeing brazen criminals taking cars, 4x4s, tractors, quad bikes and tools. We’re especially concerned that criminals are becoming more sophisticated and are overcoming electronic security to steal expensive vehicles of all types,” he said.


Should the rest of the UK follow Scotland’s lead on prisons?

Prison reform campaigners are to debate whether the justice system in England and Wales should follow Scotland’s lead when it comes to managing jails and reducing the overall number of people incarcerated. Several penal establishments south of the Border have been rocked by serious unrest in the past two years, with one incident at HMP Birmingham in December 2016 described as the worst since the infamous Strangeways riot in 1990. Now experts are to ask if Scotland is “imprisoning differently” from the rest of the UK and what lessons can be learned.


Sex attack survivor to teach police recruits how to treat suspected rape victims

Sex attack survivor Katie Johnston is to coach police recruits in how to treat suspected rape victims. Courageous Katie gave up her right to anonymity after her evidence led to the rape conviction of masked monster Alasdair McDonald.  Katie, of Aberdeen, was a 21-year-old student when predator McDonald, 49, pounced on her in the city’s Union Terrace Gardens.  She endured an “abhorrent” assault in which she suffered the “worst internal injuries” ever seen by the police surgeon who examined her.  Now Katie has agreed to speak at Police Scotland’s training college at Tulliallan in Fife next month.


Drinking illicit alcohol on a plane to be criminal offence

Passengers will face criminal charges for drinking their own alcohol on board planes under new plans that will also mean tougher penalties for drunkenness in the air. The new measures will mean all alcohol bought at airport shops would be placed in sealed bags after purchase in the biggest crackdown on disruption caused by drunken passengers. Illicit consumption of alcohol is one of the greatest factors in causing disruptive behaviour on flights, the Scottish Government said. It comes as 420 disruptive passenger incidents were reported to the Civil Aviation Authority in 2017.



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