26 Jun 26th June 2019
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf backs call for police complaints panel
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said a call for an independent panel to deal with misconduct complaints against senior Police Scotland officers will be taken “very seriously”. The suggestion came from former lord advocate Dame Elish Angiolini QC as she gave evidence on Monday to Holyrood’s Justice Committee on her interim report into police complaint handling and misconduct allegations. She used the phrase “too cosy” to describe the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) dealing with misconduct allegations against senior officers, who attend SPA board and committee meetings.
Police and watchdog could be too cosy, Humza Yousaf admits
The justice secretary will address the relationship between Police Scotland and its watchdogs amid claims that things are “too cosy”. Humza Yousaf told the justice committee he would speak to the organisations urgently “because even the perception of their relationship being too cosy is not good for public confidence”. Last week Dame Elish Angiolini, the former lord advocate, recommended that allegations against senior officers be handled by an independent panel. Senior officers were “too cosy” with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the civilian oversight body, she said, while the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, the external complaints body, was treated with “suspicion”.
Expansion of electronic tagging branded ‘ruse to empty prisons’
An expansion of electronic tagging has been branded a “ruse to empty prisons” after it was voted through Holyrood. MSPs backed the Scottish Government’s Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill by 82 votes to 26. The legislation paves the way for the introduction of GPS tracking systems and high-tech devices which can monitor whether an offender has taken drugs or alcohol through their sweat. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf insisted: “This is not about hard or soft justice, but about smart justice.”
‘Too cosy’ relationship between top Scots cops and watchdog set to be probed
The “too cosy” relationship between top Scots cops and their watchdog is set to be probed. Humza Yousaf has now said that a perception like that towards police and their oversight body regarding complaints isn’t good for public confidence.
Grangemouth Police Station hit by flooding
Staff at Grangemouth Police Station have had to be moved out of their offices after the building was hit by flood damage. Four working areas in total have been affected by the water damage, caused as a result of the recent bad weather. Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Divisional Commander, said: “We can confirm that there was flood damage to Grangemouth Police Station on June 16/17.
Police Scotland’s £21m mobile phone rollout begins
Police Scotland has begun the process of issuing approximately 10,000 of its uniformed officers with mobile devices. Officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus will be among the first to start using them. Officers will be able to use the devices to access a range of police systems while out on duty, removing the need to return to the police station in many cases, and allowing them to spend more time working within the community. This is enabled through Motorola Solutions’ Pronto application, which also enables them to fill in reports and removes the need for traditional paper notebooks. The £21m Mobile Working Project is part funded by Scottish Government’s capital budget allocation and the rollout is due to be completed by spring 2020. Once issued, the devices will be enhanced over time with the addition of future policing applications, including national systems as they become available. EE won the contract for the project back in January and the handsets will be supplied by Samsung and Blackberry.
More than 20 motorists have been charged with driving offences, dozens others warned and three vehicles seized during a continuing police crackdown on road users on the A96.
More than 100 vehicles were stopped during the latest day of action between Inverness and Aberdeen on Friday, police revealed. Of those stopped, 15 drivers were charged with speeding, three with having no insurance, one for using a mobile phone when driving, one for failing to wear a seat belt, one for careless driving and two for having no MOT test certificate. Three uninsured vehicles were seized and three were prohibited for being un-roadworthy.
New police campaign cracks down on underage drinking and disorder ahead of school holidays
Efforts to prevent underage drinking and antisocial behaviour during the school holidays have been stepped up by police. Officers based at Rutherglen police office say they will be working with community wardens in the town and neighbouring Cambuslang to ensure youths congregating in parks and public spaces over the summer months are not causing the type of disorder and vandalism seen in previous years. The announcement comes in the same week officers visited pubs and off licenses in the area to educate shop keepers about the dangers of selling alcohol to youths, or to adults willing to hand it over to teenagers outside their premises. Dubbed Your Asking For It, the campaign is a joint initiative between Police Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council.
Tayside police become first in Scotland to get mobile devices to carry on their duties
Police officers across Tayside have become the first in Scotland to get mobile devices to carry outside on their duties. Officers will be able to use police systems while out on duty without needing to return to the police station to log on to a computer. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf launched the initiative at Tayside’s Police Scotland HQ with a £12 million investment going towards the roll-out. Speaking at the event, he said: “This a game-changer. There will be 10,000 officers equipped with mobile phones, hopefully by 2020. “I agree with the sentiment that this is not bells and whistles technology – this is fairly basic stuff that we all have, but I’m delighted that it is now in the pockets of police because it will make a big difference to fighting crime.”
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