Call for small-time drug users to avoid court
Scots caught with small amounts of drugs should not face prosecution, a leading Scottish Government adviser has said. Dr Roy Robertson’s call has drawn sympathy from one of Police Scotland’s most senior drugs officer who has stressed the importance of engaging with addicts. But any change seems some way off as drug laws are reserved to Westminster and the Home Office has no imminent plans to change policy. Scotland has the highest number of drug deaths in the European Union.
Hundreds of police officers to receive Taser training
More than 500 police officers in Scotland will start Taser training this month. Police Scotland says the move is in response to an increase in assaults on officers. Some 520 officers will begin their training at the end of the month. The first recruits are expected to return to their local communities in June. They will be given Taser X2 weapons to be used in both urban and rural areas across Scotland, the force said. Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie questioned the need for police to carry Tasers. He said: “Scotland’s police officers continue to enjoy public support and remain approachable, and that won’t be the case if they are routinely armed.
More than 500 extra police officers now able to use Tasers
Hundreds of extra police officers will start carrying tasers next month – doubling the numbers currently armed with the stun weapon. The national force is training an extra 520 officers to handle tasers in what its union calls “a step in the right direction”. The Scottish Police Federation had been lobbying hard for better protection for both officers and public amid increasing concern about knives. Its general secretary, Calum Steele, said he did not expect a huge rise in discharges of the weapons, which until now have only been carried by Scotland’s small but recently increased band of 365 armed officers. Only three people were tasered last year.
More than 500 ‘Taser cops’ to walk Scottish beats starting in June
Police Scotland will next month start doubling the number of officers armed with tasers. The national force is training an extra 520 officers to handle the electric stun weapons in what its union calls “a step in the right direction”. The Scottish Police Federation had been lobbying hard for better protection for both officers and public amid increasing concern about knives. Its general secretary, Calum Steele, said he did not expect a huge rise in discharges of the weapons, which until now have only been carried by Scotland’s small but recently increased band of 365 armed officers. Only three people were tasered last year.
Scottish drug laws ‘should be changed so low-level users are not sent to prison’, says government adviser
Drug laws should be changed so low-level users are not sent to prison, a government adviser claims. Dr Roy Robertson also called for a radical new approach to tackling the problem — as he warned of a drugs deaths “epidemic”. It came as SNP ministers look to “refresh” their 2008 Road To Recovery strategy. Dr Robertson said they should “support rather than penalise” those caught with small amounts of narcotics.
Scottish police start Taser training to defend against knives
More than 500 officers are set to start Taser training in response to an increase in assaults on police. Training for 520 officers will begin at the end of May, Police Scotland said, and the first officers are expected to return to work in their local communities in June. The officers, from both rural and urban areas, will be given Taser X2 weapons. Chief Superintendent Matt Richards said: “Due to the increasing number of incidents officers are attending where people are armed with bladed weapons, and the growing number of assaults on police officers, it is necessary for us to take steps to improve our ability to keep the public and officers safe.
‘Jail is wrong for minor drug users’
People caught with small amounts of drugs should not be prosecuted, an adviser to the Scottish government said. Dr Roy Robertson suggested that ministers consider a policy under which people caught with drugs for personal use would not be not sent to jail. The Scottish government is deciding whether to change its drugs strategy. Dr Robertson, a former member of the Home Office’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said it should “support rather than penalise”. Scottish ministers are limited in how much they can change the law, however. There is some flexibility in the guidance given to the police in Scotland over arrests but overall drugs policy is decided by Westminster.
Taser training for 500 officers will start at the end of May
The training of around 500 Specially Trained Officers (STOs) in the use of Conducted Energy Devices (Taser) will begin at the end of May 2018, with the first officers expected to return to their local communities in early June 2018. Police Scotland announced plans in December 2017 to train additional officers who will be equipped with Taser in a move to improve the safety of the public and police officers, following an increase in the number of incidents in which officers have been confronted by people with bladed weapons and an increase in assaults on officers. Once trained, the STOs will be equipped with the Taser X2 and will be deployed across communities throughout Scotland, in both urban and rural areas. The total number of STOs will equate to just under 3% of the force establishment and brings Police Scotland into line with forces throughout the UK.
Don’t lock up drug users, says Scottish Government expert
Scotland has, proportionately, the highest number of drug deaths in the EU and this has led to some specialists demanding an overhaul of how the problem is approached. Dr Robertson advises Scottish ministers and is a former member of the Home Office’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The professor of addiction medicine at Edinburgh University believes the drug deaths total will increase this year and said the time had arrived for a radical re-think.
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