Police Scotland has stressed “there is
no overtime ban”, after a rank-and-file whistle-blower claimed officers
have been told to abandon drug investigations in case they have to work
additional hours. The whistle-blower said he risked “career suicide” by
revealing his concerns to the Scottish Police Federation (SPF). A Police
Scotland whistle-blower has claimed officers are being told to abandon
cases to avoid overtime Calum Steele, the SPF general secretary who
published an email from the whistle-blower on Twitter, said the
“sensational” claim is just “the tip of a very large iceberg”. The email
states: “Officers… are on an overtime ban. “Whistle-blowing on anything
like this is career suicide… so I’d rather my identity not be
published. “We are being told not to be proactive and investigate drug
dealers because (they) could cause overtime, but rather just do the work
we are given.” Another email states “people who should be held (in)
custody are being released, on undertaking to avoid officers staying on
to complete (a) case and incur overtime”. The force is facing a £21
million shortfall in running costs this year, dwarfing the £18 million
overspend last year, despite an £18 million budget boost from the
Scottish Government for 2016/17. READ IN FULL
The Scottish Government has been accused
of failing communities after a whistle blower claimed police officers
were being told not to investigate drug dealers if it meant working overtime.
The shocking allegation emerged on the
day that new figures revealed a record number of drug deaths in
Scotland, with the total jumping 15 per cent in a year.
Official statistics show that 706
people died from drug abuse last year – 93 more than 2014, and more than
twice the number recorded in 2005.
Calum Steele, general secretary of the
Scottish Police Federation (SPF), representing rank and file officers,
revealed the overtime accusation on Twitter.
The anonymous whistle blower said cutbacks had resulted in an instruction not to be proactive and investigate drug dealers.
Police Scotland is currently facing a £21 million shortfall in
running costs this year and opposition parties have accused ministers
of squeezing its budget “until the pips squeak”. Mr Steele said the SNP
must now “put its hand in its pocket” to protect the public, adding:
“The service is not over-budget, it’s under-funded.”
He added that the email he received from the veteran officer illustrated the “shameful reality of police cuts”.
It said: “You may already be aware that
officers in [CENSORED] are on an overtime ban. This is unworkable and
when a custody case or investigation demands overtime officers are
staying on to complete the job out of personal and professional pride
for NO PAY!! Source Telegraph
LOCAL community councils have expressed
their disappointment after being told that they will no longer be
getting a monthly policing report at their meetings..
Although police remain committed to
working with the local communties, confirmation has been given that the
reports – which detail crimes and outcomes over the previous month
– use valuable resources which could be better spent by officers
responding to calls.
Moray councillor George Alexander said
he first became away of the proposals after the issue was raised at a
recent meeting of the Forres Community Council. It has also been raised
by the Dyke and Landward group and Findhorn and Kinloss watchdogs.
“I intend to ask for clarity on the
matter at the meeting of the Police, Fire and Rescue Committee meeting
on August 18,” he said.
Chairman of the Forres Community Council Stewart Noble said there was concern among members over the news. READ IN FULL
have been awarded payouts for claims that also include bullying, breach
of contract, sexual harassment and stress.
show the country’s cash-strapped single force has set aside more than £6
million to cover future claims.
campaigners have voiced concerns over the payments with the force
currently facing a £21.1 million black hole in its finances.
2013, Police Scotland has received 74 compensation claims from officers
and 21 from members of staff. READ IN FULL
A police force has been ordered to pay
£10,000 in damages to one of its former officers after a tribunal ruled
the force had acted unlawfully when it obtained communications data.
An Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concluded Police Scotland’s actions were contrary to the Human Rights Act of 1998.
Two former police officers and their
wives, together with two serving policemen, took the action against the
force to “complain of the collateral interference with their privacy”
Chief Constable Phil Gormley has asked the Chief Constable of Durham
Constabulary to head an independent investigation into the issue
It comes after Sir Stanley Burton, the
Interception of Communications Commissioner, ruled in November 2015 that
Police Scotland contravened the acquisition and disclosure of
communications data code of practice on five occasions.
The Interception of Communications
Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO) conducted a review after fears were raised
officers had been ”illegally spying on journalists”, with these
incidents linked to the investigation into the murder of prostitute Emma
Caldwell in 2005.
Gerard Gallacher, a former police
officer who carried out an 18-month journalistic investigation into the
case, is to be paid £10,000 after telling the tribunal he had suffered
an “invasion of privacy, familial strife, personal stress and strain and
loss of long-standing friendships” as a result of Police Scotland’s
The IPT ruled the interference with his
rights to freedom of expression were ” serious in respect of the
obtaining of more than 32 days of communications data”.
Of the six complainants, only Mr Gallacher and his wife had been seeking compensation.
The tribunal also ordered that an
inquiry into the breach of guidelines by police be conducted by a senior
officer “from another police force in the United Kingdom other than
Scotland, and without any previous relevant connection with Police
At the end of July, Phil Gormley, the
Chief Constable of Police Scotland, asked Mike Barton, Chief Constable
of Durham Constabulary, to head an independent investigation into the
Detective Inspector David Moran, one of
the complainants in the case, welcomed ” the judgement of the IPT in
connection with their examination of Police Scotland’s unlawful actions
in trying to ascertain the sources of a journalist” after a newspaper
published an article which was critical of the Emma Caldwell murder investigation.
Mr Moran said: ” That there is to be an
inquiry by an external police force into the circumstances surrounding
the affair is a large step forward, however I have concerns that Police
Scotland have invited the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary to
examine the outstanding ‘non-criminal’ matters only. Dailymail
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