Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Police Scotland in crisis, unpopular Nicola Sturgeon puts Michael ‘the mouse’ Matheson in as Scottish Justice Secretary to replace the dud that was Kenny MacAskill, now rank and file members of the Police are speaking out about a botched Police service, “some very uncomfortable reading” is code for incompetence, yet again the SNP Government fails Scotland

Dear All

It can’t be much fun working in Police Scotland at present, the service was setup badly, because of this it was run badly, it lacks proper accountability and morale is dropping.

There is an old saying that if everyone knows the score, they can fit in, provided that a reasonable attempt is made to operate a system which is based on sound principles. When the SNP setup Police Scotland, they rammed it through with dealing with the problems they created.

Overnight everyone in the 8 forces was suddenly Police Scotland.

Police Scotland is just a name change, in Scotland, there are several national law enforcement agencies which operate perfectly fine, no one thinks twice that they are a national agency because it isn’t relevant.  

Today on Twitter, I floated my new idea, scrap the office of Chief Constable and instead have an elected Commissioner. Stephen House as I said many times before wasn’t my first choice for Chief Constable; in fact I thought it was important he didn’t get it. I have nothing personal against him and some of the problems would have surfaced regardless who was sitting behind the desk. He does carry some blame but it would be unfair to make him a scapegoat for the political failure of others.

Everyone involved has a slice of that pudding.

When I trotted out the idea of a unified Police Force at the SNP National Assembly in September 2010, it was to have a triple lock of accountability; this would be helpful to the Police and Politicians. Local boards, National Board and a new Justice 3 Committee for oversight; I have written about this before, it deals with issues flagged in the press. Another point which I mentioned by in 2010, was an increase in Special Constables numbers, this would allow members of the community subject to normal vetting to become the traditional bobby on the beat. 

They wouldn’t be community wardens; they would be Police Officers with the full powers that go with it.

As in any organisation, you get surveys asking for feedback, well someone thought it was a good idea to do a survey of officers and staff, however, it seems that everything is not rosy in the garden. Although it isn’t published just yet, it is said to make “some very uncomfortable reading” for Police Scotland.

This is the vibe coming from the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents 98% of police officers in Scotland. Over the last few weeks, I have looking at videos of Policing in America that has gone bad; this for the most part isn’t the experience of Scotland or indeed the rest of the United Kingdom. You can find examples though if you do some research, mostly confrontations happen when either side don’t know the law. We recognise that Policing is necessary, and that the job can be difficult and sometimes dangerous, but it has to be done.

There have been some high profile cases which stick out regarding the calls for reform of Police Scotland, the deaths of two people left for three days in a crashed car and the death in custody of Sheku Bayoh.

These are tragic events, but they shouldn’t be used as an excuse to knock the whole service, ex SNP leader Gordon Wilson used them to call for Federalisation of the Service. This wouldn’t have made any difference to the cases above; both these cases were a failure not at the top but much more local.

You can’t blame Stephen House for these cases.

Chairman Brian Docherty said:

“We know our members are working harder and longer than ever, face greater disruption than ever before and that in parts of the service they are at breaking point. We also know that policing in Scotland has undergone the most monumental public-sector reform and against a backdrop of austerity, pension reform, real-terms wage deflation and a relentless media frenzy, we fully expect the staff survey will make for some very uncomfortable reading. We can’t recall any other body being expected to publish its internal reports, but given the increased politicised nature of policing in Scotland we won’t be surprised that the usual commentators will use this as another stick with which to beat, what is by any measure, an excellent public service".

He added:

“Our members deserve to be recognised for the work they do and service they provide. We believe this survey will reinforce that they have sacrificed a great deal to deliver for our communities and that it is time they were given the chance to catch their breath. We know that unless the service looks after its staff, it is all of our communities who suffer.”

I am going to leave the issues regarding pay and conditions; they can get round the table about that with their employers. The real issues are damage to morale and the increased politicised nature of policing in Scotland. The 8 forces were merged into one service so that front line policing jobs could be protected.

The alternative was job losses.

Kenny MacAskill wasn’t a fan of Police Scotland, so he left it to go on its merry way as he rushed off to chase the independence dream. After he was removed thereby proving my continued point that he was a deadbeat, up pops Michael Matheson as the Justice Sec, given the Nicola Sturgeon seal of approval. At present the Justice Sec is keeping such a low profile that you might be tempted to ask him who he is hiding from.

To add to this tale of woe, we have the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) loaded with SNP cronies who need removed as soon as possible to a park bench to feed the pigeons, services no longer required.

Scottish Labour have called on Police Scotland to publish the survey without delay, however, regardless what is in the survey, the Scottish Labour Party need to do a plan for a reformed Police Scotland.

Any additional information which the survey throws up could be used to shape the service and get it back onto an even keel.

The Scottish National Party is a party of protest and not of government.

Finally, if someone could tell Police Scotland not to have their traffic police do ‘blue light’ runs with their sirens screaming on empty roads outside their HQ in Govan at 3 am in the morning; I would be really grateful, the pigeons round my way need their rest.

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

I watched Matheson on Newsnight a few weeks ago. He's rather pompous. And typical of Sturgeon's mob he's always ready to blame someone else, usually Westminster.

I'd like for the Scottish Government, for once, to take responsibility when things aren't going so well, rather than taking credit when the news is good.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for your pigeons Georgieboy

Polis Scotland are a shambles and don't mention superinjunctions ffs


Anonymous said...

I'd just like for the SNP to wake up from dreamland, stop concentrating so hard on breaking up the Union and start doing what a lot of bampots in Scotland voted them to do and start to govern and stop blaming the UK government for all that is wrong in Scotland.