23rd May 2018

Perth Police HQ - by Ninian Reid via Flickr

Police Scotland’s first hijab-wearing officer targeted by racist trolls

The first member of Police Scotland to wear a specially designed hijab has been subjected to racist and Islamophobic abuse by online trolls. Aleena Rafi, an unpaid special constable, appeared in a YouTube video to talk about her short time with the force. She is the first recruit to adopt the head covering, which was introduced as part of the uniform in 2016. A link to the video on Twitter, which was posted last week by Police Scotland, has received dozens of abusive comments.


Chris Marshall: Reaction to special constable in a hijab says a lot

When Aleena Rafi signed up to become a Police Scotland special constable, she was setting an example the top brass hoped others would soon follow. A young Muslim, she became the first member of the national force to wear a specially designed hijab featuring the chequered Sillitoe tartan which has become a police symbol throughout the world. The head covering was introduced in 2016 as part of a strategy to tackle the woeful under-representation of ethnic minorities in Scottish policing.


Angela Haggerty: Drug addicts don’t need another slap in the face, and especially not from Annie Wells

Last year, many of us were shocked when news emerged that twice as many people were dying from drug use compared to a decade ago. Particularly striking was the stark difference in the figures between men and women: 241 per cent more women died because of drugs in 2016 than 2006, while the rise was 77 per cent for men in the same period. It’s in that light, then, that it’s particularly disappointing to see a female MSP join the chorus of voices who speak about drug users as though they’re some sub-human problem needing a swift hand to deal with them.


Victims’ families still waiting for M9 crash inquiry

Concerns have been raised that an inquiry into a crash on the M9 three years ago has still not been arranged. John Yuill and Lamara Bell lay undiscovered for three days after their car veered off the M9 near Stirling in 2015. Sightings of their wrecked car had been reported to a police control room. Yuill, 28, died at the scene and Bell, 25, died after four days in hospital. The Scottish government ordered a review of police call handling. A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland found the service has since “stabilised” but an MSP said that further scrutiny was required.


Police respond to HMICS report on call handling progress

Police Scotland have responded to the report by Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland on call handling which was published earlier today. ACC Nelson Telfer said, “I welcome this positive report from HMICS which acknowledges the ways in which we have strengthened our call handling system.  “I am particularly pleased that HMICS has recognised improvements in our call answering performance and in morale and confidence among staff.  “The integration of legacy service centres and Area Control Rooms has increased capacity and resilience, allowing us to deal with calls more effectively and reducing waiting times for the public.  “For the first time since the creation of Police Scotland, the whole country is covered by a single police command and control system, enabling a more effective response to critical and major incidents.  “HMICS has made a number of recommendations and detailed work is already under way in a number of these areas.


Report on Police Scotland’s progress regarding call handling published today

A report considering the current state of police call handling and the progress made by Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in the past three years has been published today. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Gillian Imery QPM, said: “Throughout a challenging period of intensive change and development, the management and staff in Contact, Command and Control (C3) division in Police Scotland have continued to be strongly committed to providing a good service to the public.  “A number of key milestones have been achieved, staff morale and confidence has improved and performance has stabilised. However there are still some areas where further progress is required.”


Dumbarton and Vale cops get cash support ahead of new domestic abuse laws

Police across Dumbarton and the Vale will benefit from new training to help officers identify controlling behaviour in relationships. Charity SafeLives was appointed to support the introduction of new domestic abuse legislation set to come into force next year. And the new support has been widely welcomed by West Dunbartonshire politicians representing an area with some of the worst domestic abuse statistics in the country. Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie said: “The further powers for police being introduced in the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act will ensure that psychological abuse is treated just as severely as physical abuse. This will offer new hope for victims of domestic abuse, and it is right that psychological abuse is recognised as a criminal offence.


Police Scotland call-handling performance improving, report says

Police call-handling performance has “stabilised”, with recommendations from a major review now complete, according to an updated report. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) found Police Scotland is “strongly committed” to providing a good service and that staff morale and confidence has improved since an initial review of call-handling in 2015 in the wake of the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell. All the recommendations made in the initial HMICS report have been completed or are no longer relevant but eight further recommendations have been made in the latest report, including IT investment, a public contact strategy and a procedure manual for the contact, command and control division.


Watchdog says police call-handling centres could do better

Police call centres have ‘stabilised’ their performance but still face issues with staff training and IT investment, according to a watchdog. A review of Police Scotland’s 999 and 101 call-handling system was launched in 2015 after the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell, who lay undiscovered for days after a crash on the M9 despite calls to police.


Report says police call handling has improved since Lamara Bell and John Yuill deaths

Police Scotland’s call handling is getting better, according to a wide-ranging review, commissioned in the days after the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill. The report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS), says the 30 recommendations it made in 2015, following the horrific car crash, have all now been met. However, it adds that more work still needs to be done. The car in which Yuill and Bell were travelling left the M9 near Bannockburn early on Sunday, July 5, 2015.



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