Ex-police chief in threat to suppress damaging report
Police Scotland attempted to suppress a report containing allegations of serious corruption and criticism of its senior leadership, according to a new documentary. The BBC Scotland investigation, to be screened tonight, will claim former chief constable Sir Stephen House commissioned the report in 2014 amid concerns that bad practice and unlawful behaviour within some former regional forces had carried on into the national force.
Gun cops at Faslane ‘too unfit’ to carry firearms and protect Britain’s nuclear weapons
Dozens of elite gun cops tasked with protecting Britain’s nuclear weapons at Faslane and other military sites are too unfit to carry firearms, it emerged yesterday. A shocking report into the Ministry of Defence Police reveals “concern” at the growing number who have been sidelined. The crisis has emerged after tougher fitness tests equal to those taken by other armed officers were introduced. Some MoD police – whose jobs include guarding the nuclear submarine fleet at Faslane, SAS headquarters in Hereford and GCHQ’s Cheltenham base – have failed the new tests. Others have simply refused to take part, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Police Scotland corruption allegations ‘removed from internal report’
Claims of corruption and criticism of senior officers were cut from an internal report into Police Scotland, an investigation has found. Former chief constable Sir Stephen House commissioned the report in 2014, a year after the national force were formed. It followed concerns that bad practice and unlawful behaviour in old regional forces remained in Police Scotland. The probe by BBC Scotland to be broadcast tonight claims early drafts of the report show:
- The chief constable’s office wanted negative comments deleted.
- They asked for tenses to be changed to suggest problems had been fixed.
- An entire section, where frontline officers described working in a culture of fear, was to be removed.
Herald View: 20mph limit could put Scotland ahead of the game
To be the “slowest in Europe” would not normally be a national boast. But it might well become one if a bill to cut speed limits to 20mph in every village, town and city in Scotland is passed this year.
Green MSP Mark Ruskell’s planned bill is expected to receive enough cross-party support from MSPs to pass into legislation – though the Scottish Government’s position is to “keep an open mind” on a national scheme.
BBC investigation: Police Scotland attempted to suppress ‘corruption’ report
Attempts were made to suppress a report which contained allegations of serious corruption as well as criticism of Police Scotland’s leadership, according to a BBC documentary to be shown tonight. The report was commissioned by former Chief Constable Sir Stephen House in 2014 following concerns that unlawful behaviour within legacy policy forces had been replicated in Police Scotland. However, the BBC investigation has claimed that earlier drafts of the confidential report showed that the then chief constable’s offices wanted sections edited and removed.
Leaked documents reveal police chiefs tried to bury allegations of corruption, it’s claimed
Leaked documents reveal top brass tried to bury allegations of police corruption, it’s claimed. Bosses wanted details of misconduct by cops removed from a report, a Beeb probe found. It included claims officers conducted unauthorised surveillance, threatened and intimidated witnesses, unlawfully detained suspects, failed to reveal evidence and colluded while compiling statements. The allegations were in the first draft of a force review called for by ex- Chief Constable Sir Stephen House. More than 300 staff were quizzed.
Police bosses accused of trying to ‘suppress’ report into illegal practices
Police chiefs tried to suppress a report that highlighted spying and intimidation in a Tayside unit, an investigation has found. The cover-up allegations are made in a BBC documentary on a confidential force review to unearth unlawful practices deployed in the early days of Police Scotland. There were incidents of unlawful detention, unauthorised surveillance, statement collusion, evidence suppression and witness intimidation in just one Tayside unit, according to a memo submitted to the report. It did not appear in the final version of the review, say the BBC.
Family of tragic Sheku Bayoh to sue police for £2 million over ‘unlawful killing’
The family of a man who died in while in police custody say they have “no confidence in the Scottish justice system” after revealing they will launch a seven-figure damages claim against the country’s most senior officer. Sheku Bayoh, who was 31, suffered more than thirty injuries after being detained by police in Kirkcaldy following reports he was carrying a knife in the town in May 2015. Mr Bayoh, known to friends as ‘Sheik,’ died in Victoria Hospital around two hours later after officers used CS spray, pepper spray and batons to restrain him after he was reported to have struck PC Nicole Short.
Police bosses footed chief’s relocation package tax bill despite saying she had to pay it
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) paid Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick’s £53,000 tax bill as part of a deal agreed when she moved to Scotland. But paperwork sent to officers applying for the job five years ago made it clear it was up to individual officers to pay any tax bills for relocating. The application pack said a relocation package may be available but added: “HMRC treat such payments as a taxable benefit and will be the responsibility of the individual officer.” Despite this, the amount owed to HMRC by DCC Fitzpatrick – who has received more than £1m in pay and pension contributions in her five years with Police Scotland – was paid by the taxpayer. Former senior police officer and MSP Graeme Pearson criticised the package. He said: “I question the morality of these sort of payments to top officers who are already well paid. “It will annoy rank and file officers that in these times of austerity, packages were changed to suit individual officers instead of the force as a whole.”
Scottish Police Authority in transparency row after blocking the public from quizzing the board
A new policy allowing members of the public to quiz the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) has been suspended by the chair of the watchdog. The SPA last year enabled citizens and stakeholders to quiz the SPA directly, but chair Susan Deacon has opted to “pause and review” the system. A staff association representing police officers was told recently that their questions on the integration of the British Transport Police (BTP) with Police Scotland would not be accepted. Nigel Goodband, Chair of BTP Federation, said: “If the well-documented commitment to greater transparency and accountability – both within the SPA and throughout the integration process – represents two steps forward, withdrawing the facility for stakeholders and the public to ask questions of the Authority is three steps back.”
Sheku Bayoh: Family sue Police Scotland’s chief constable
The family of a man who died after being restrained by police nearly three years ago are suing the chief constable of Police Scotland. A lawyer for relatives of Sheku Bayou said they were seeking £2m from Iain Livingstone. Sheku Bayoh, 31, lost consciousness after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in May 2015. Solicitor Aamer Anwar said the family believed his death was unlawful and Police Scotland was responsible. The civil action will be raised against Acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone shortly before three-year “time bar” laws come into force on Thursday, exactly three years since the death. The action – to be lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh – is believed to be the first time police in Scotland have been sued over an unlawful killing.
Shock rise in murderers freed early
Soaring numbers of murderers and sex criminals are being freed early, fuelling fears victims are being failed by soft-touch justice. Parole for sex offenders after they have reached the halfway point of their sentence has more than doubled in a year.
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