14th May 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

Allegations against top police officer are dropped

Misconduct allegations against one of Scotland’s top police officers have been dropped but it is still not clear whether he will face criminal proceedings. Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, pictured, who was suspended from duty in November by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) after the allegations were made, returned to work in March. He denies the allegations and has described them as vexatious. The SPA has now decided there is no case to answer with regard to the allegations of misconduct, which were made anonymously.


Shock figures for Scots police division as murder rates higher than London and New York

A Scots police division has the highest murder rate in the UK, new figures have revealed. There were 11 killings in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde in 2017-18 – a murder rate of 4.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, ahead of big cities such as London and New York.  The most recent crime figures for Greater Manchester, covering 2017, had the highest murder rate in England at 2.8 per 100,000.


Top police officer cleared to return to work

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who denies all the allegations, returned to work in March while investigations were still ongoing. He had been suspended from duty by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in November.  Now, the SPA has confirmed that the decision there was no case to answer regarding the misconduct allegations was made following a committee meeting last month.  A spokesman said: “The committee’s consideration was informed by an independent report by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc).


Former Tayside police chief lodges complaint against federation boss

Angela Wilson, who is now chairman of the Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Dundee, was described by Calum Steele as an “imbecile” and “buffoon” in social media posts. Mr Steele, who is the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, is also a serving police officer and bound by the force’s conduct regulations.  In one of the posts, he said Ms Wilson is “one of the most incompetent imbeciles ever to have held rank in the police service”.


Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins cleared of misconduct but criminal probe continues

One of Scotland‘s top police officers has been cleared of misconduct allegations but faces a further wait to find out if he will be subject to criminal proceedings.   Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who denies all allegations against him, returned to work in March while the watchdog investigations were still ongoing.  He had been suspended from duty by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in November after a number of allegations were made.


Calls to halt rollout of technology used by police to hack phones and harvest data

The rollout of new technology which can be used by police to secretly hack into mobile phones should be halted, MSPs have said. The call came after it emerged that police officers can use new hacking technology, called “cyber kiosks”, to harvest data from phones handed over by witnesses and suspects. That position contradicted a previous statement by Police Scotland which insisted the technology can’t be used to “extract” information, only view it. The Sunday Herald previously revealed police piloted cyber kiosks, accessing hundreds of phones without telling the owners, then spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to procure 41 devices.


NHS staff, teachers & THESE workers’ pensions’ at RISK after IT failure

Another Scottish public sector IT project has collapsed, sparking fears for the pensions of half a million former NHS workers, teachers, firefighters and police officers. The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) was forced to abandon its £6million contract with troubled outsourcing firm Capita in January after being hit by a litany of problems over the past three years.  Worryingly, the potential risk to thousands of pensioners was never disclosed to the public and the SNP Government praised the project even after a “significant number” of errors had emerged.


Highest murder rate in the UK held by Scottish police division finds report

A Scottish police division had the highest murder rate in the UK last year, despite local politicians lavishing praise on the SNP’s policing and crime strategies. There were 11 homicides in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde in 2017-18 giving a murder rate of 4.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, ahead of big cities such as London and New York.  South of the Border, crime figures for 2017 show Greater Manchester had the highest murder rate at 2.8 per 100,000.


Majority on Holyrood committee back letting prisoners vote

Denying prisoners the vote does not serve the interests of society, the inmates’ rehabilitation or democracy, according to a Holyrood committee. The Equalities and Human Rights Committee has said those serving custodial sentences should be given the right to cast their ballot.


Now 3,000 gangsters menace our streets… in 164 criminal clans

Scotland faces a growing menace from organised crime – with more than 3,000 gangsters and nearly 170 syndicates, the ‘British FBI’ has warned. ‘The threat is increasing’ and is fuelled by a rise in the number of deadly feuds involving rival criminal gangs, according to a National Crime Agency report.


Majority of Scotland’s crime gangs ‘involved in drug trafficking’

The threat posed by criminal gangs in Scotland is increasing, according to a new report. A National Crime Agency (NCA) assessment of the extent of organised crime in Scotland, written in association with Police Scotland, found the number of groups is falling but the threat they pose is rising. Police are investigating 164 known organised crime groups (OCGs) in Scotland comprising 3,282 members, the report states.



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