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 “Whistle-blowing on anything like this is career suicide… so I’d rather my identity not be published.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
Dozens of police employees have been awarded payouts for claims that also include bullying, breach of contract, sexual harassment and stress.
And newly-released figures show the country’s cash-strapped single force has set aside more than £6 million to cover future claims.
Opposition politicians and campaigners have voiced concerns over the payments with the force currently facing a £21.1 million black hole in its finances.
Since its formation in April 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”
Police Scotland 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 actions.
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 Scotland”.
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 issue.
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