17th May 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr


Renfrewshire police officer accused of helping woman avoid arrest by phoning and telling her to ‘take a walk’

A police officer has gone on trial accused of telling a woman he was due to arrest to “take a walk” – so she wouldn’t be in when he went to her door. Police Constable Gordon Henry went on trial at Paisley Sheriff Court today charged with neglect of duty.  PC Henry, 42, denies breaking Section 22(3) of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 when told to arrest a woman named Lynn Pearson from her home in Graham Street, Johnstone, Renfrewshire, on six means warrants – issued for failing to appear at court over unpaid fines.


UK police forces told to address concerns over facial recognition systems or face legal action.

The UK’s police forces must address concerns over the use of facial recognition technology or they may face legal action, according to the UK’s privacy watchdog. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said the issue is a priority for her office. Campaign group Big Brother Watch suggested the technology has misidentified a “staggering” number of innocent people as criminal suspects. The group made freedom of information requests of every UK police force, with two acknowledging that they are currently testing such cameras.


Police digital disclosure failings under Westminster spotlight

Police officers dealing with digital disclosure are under-trained and often unaware of what they are looking for, a Justice Select Committee has heard.  Digital forensic experts have said police failures have led to a number of court cases collapsing, The Guardian reports. Dr Jan Collie, of Discovery Forensics, which specialises in defence work, said the volume of digital evidence was the first problem.  She said: “You have to consider the cloud too. There’s evidence everywhere. With cuts in funding, officers don’t have the time to do all that.


OTD 1918: Scotland’s first paid policewoman hits the streets

Jean Thomson was the first paid policewoman in Scotland – and started work 100 years ago today in Dundee. Here, Sarah Aitken, assistant archivist at Dundee City Archives looks back at the historic appointment. Dundee was a bit different when it came to 19th century gender politics. The predominance of factories in the city, in particular those making jute, meant that there was a high demand for a female workforce.


Dozens of illegal mobile phones confiscated at HMP Edinburgh

More inmates at HMP Edinburgh have been caught with illegal mobile devices than anywhere else in Scotland in the last year, new figures have revealed. At least 60 phones and SIM cards have been retrieved from convicts by guards at ‘Saughton’ between March 2017 and February 2018, despite a Scottish Prison Service (SPS) crackdown on devices being smuggled into prisons. The figures, made available through a freedom of information request, found a rise in the number of handsets seized at eight of Scotland’s 15 prisons over a the last year. Prison officers retrieved an average of one device every six days from the 861 inmates at the maximum security HMP Edinburgh during that period, 15 more than Addiewell and almost 30 more than Perth.


Plan to give guns to rural police

Frontline police officers will carry handguns for the first time to cope with the terrorist threat in rural areas, under plans being considered by chief constables. Officers responding to emergencies in remote locations where firearm units cannot be quickly deployed would be routinely armed. Simon Chesterman, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said that the proposal was being considered in areas of England and Wales where it was prohibitively expensive to have fully trained specialist units on standby.


Officers ‘put off’ from becoming elite marksmen

Concerns over the way armed police officers are often treated in the aftermath of a police shooting are hampering recruitment efforts. A planned increase in the number of elite counter-terrorist firearms officers has yet to hit its target, partly due to the difficulties in getting enough volunteers. Police chiefs revealed a 70% increase in the ranks of the most highly trained armed officers over the last two years, but the pool of counter-terrorist specialist firearms officers (CTSFOs) still needs about 100 recruits. The government made an additional £143m available to increase the overall number of armed officers in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. The latest figures show that Home Office forces which were given funding have seen an increase of 874 armed officers, up from 640 in April 2017.



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