Police Scotland watchdog feared for staff over Phil Gormley case

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) raised concerns over whether former Chief Constable Phil Gormley should return to work, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information request by EN4 News.

An email sent by Katie Frame to the Acting Convener of the Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLSC) Jackie Baillie shows the PIRC were worried that, if Mr Gormley came back from suspension, the staff’s careers could be at risk.  

On the 4th of January this year, Ms Frame wrote: “Due to the position of power and influence attaching to the Chief Constable’s post, there was a significant concern that those witnesses would not feel free to speak up if the Chief Constable remained in post.” 

She went on to say: “Had my views been sought at the outset of these investigations, I confirm that I had real and significant concerns that the PIRC investigations may have been prejudiced.”

Documents obtained by EN4 News show Katie Frame’s concern for Police Scotland staff. 

Chief Constable Phil Gormley tendered his resignation on the 7th of February this year after seven misconduct allegations were made against him. Mr Gormley said that “events since November 2017” would make it “impossible for me to resume my duties in a meaningful way”.

The SPA, which oversees Police Scotland, said Phil Gormley would be paid his annual leave entitlement and a three month notice fee. However, he will not get a severance package. The position of Chief Constable of Police Scotland remains vacant.

 

 

Police appeal for witnesses after cars vandalised

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after two vehicles were seen being vandalised in Dunbar, East Lothian.

The incident is believed to have taken place around 8.30pm ,Tuesday 13th March on Belhaven Road.

Belhaven Road, East Lothian Image Credit: Mark Anderson

 

The suspect is possibly in possession of a knife which was used to slash the tyres of a Volkswagen Up and Vauxhall Corsa.

The man has been described as white, 5ft 8ins tall with a slim build and wearing a grey hooded top and tracksuit bottoms.

The police are asking anyone with information to come forward and assist with ongoing inquiries into the incident.

Constable Chris Hutchison from Haddington Police Station said:

“These have been mindless acts of vandalism that will leave the vehicle owners out of pocket.

“Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in Belhaven Road on Tuesday evening, or who can help us identify the male responsible is urged to contact police immediately.”

Those with information can contact Haddington Police Station via 101 and quote incident number 3787 of the 13th March.


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Bomb squad investigate suspicious package in Edinburgh

Police were called to Newhaven Road last night following reports of a suspicious item found in a bus shelter.

The Explosive Ordnance Team were sent to the scene, cordoning off part of the street while they investigated. Witnesses posted pictures and videos on social media of the EOT’s robot travelling along the road.

 

The incident comes just months after the bomb squad were forced to carry out a controlled explosion after a device was found near Edinburgh Castle.

Police later confirmed it was not a hoax, stating the suspicious package had ‘potential to cause injury.

They urged the public to remain ‘alert but not alarmed’ and to report anything suspect to police.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley resigns

Phil Gormley has quit as Police Scotland Chief Constable with immediate effect amidst multiple misconduct/bullying probes into his time as Chief Constable.

He has been on special leave since last September.

Chief Constable Resigns | Image Credit: PA Images

Gormley said in a statement today:

“The events since November 2017 have led me to the conclusion that it is impossible for me to resume my duties in a meaningful way prior to the end of my contract.”

He now wishes to “prioritise the health and wellbeing” of his family. Mr Gormley has always denied any wrongdoing.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has faced questioning over his role in the Scottish Police Authority reversing its decision to allow Mr Gormley to return to work last November – Image Credit: Flickr

The SPA, which oversees the country’s single national force, said he would not be required to work his contractual notice period.

It said he would receive a payment in respect of his salary for a three month notice period, and for his outstanding annual leave pay.

But Mr Gormley will receive no other settlement or severance payment from the SPA.

The chairwoman of the SPA, Susan Deacon, said Mr Gormley had made a “significant contribution to policing in Scotland”.

She added: “I would like to thank him for this contribution and wish him well for the future. This has been a challenging period for all concerned, and in the interest of policing in Scotland we now need to move on”.

Taking questions from MSPs this afternoon, the Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he has spoken with Susan Deacon who will undertake the appointment of a new chief constable. Mr Matheson said he is encouraged by Ms Deacon’s commitment.

Police make four arrests after drug seizes in Midlothian

Four arrests have been made following a drug seize from two cars in Midlothian.

At around 11:35am on Monday, police officers searched a Peugeot car in Mayfield and seized 2.6g of cocaine and 2.6g of cannabis.

A 65-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were arrested.

During the same day, police searched an Audi A3 on Newbattle Road in Dalkeith at around 6.30pm.

The officers discovered 1.5g of cocaine in the vehicle and arrested a 21 year-old-man and 22-year-old woman, who are due to appear in court at a later date.

Sergeant Stuart Aitchison said:

“Tackling drug crime remains one of our top priorities and in addition to responding to intelligence, we will continue with proactive patrols to identify those involved in drug crime and bring them to justice.

“If you would like to report ongoing drug crime in your area then please do so by contacting us via 101 or making an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Teenager charged in connection with assault of 12-year-old girl in Livingston

A teenager has been charged in connection with an assault on a 12-year-old girl after a video was posted on social media. The incident took place in Ladywell, Livingston at around 8pm on Saturday.

Police are said to be following a positive line of inquiry and are attempting to identify additional suspects.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said:

“A 13-year-old girl has been charged in connection with this incident and officers are currently following positive lines of enquiry to trace others believed to be involved.”

“Officers are aware of video footage and communication posted to social media and would ask that members of the public ensure they conduct themselves appropriately online.”

Man charged with Edinburgh nightclub assault

A man has been charged with an assault which took place in Edinburgh city centre last year.

A 22-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries after an attack at Opal nightclub on George Street in August 2017.

The altercation happened outside Opal nightclub

The 25-year-old male will appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in February.

Police have thanked the public for their help and assistance during the investigation.

Scottish police officers want firearms according to study

A study shows police in Scotland feel “vulnerable to spontaneous violence”.

A survey carried out by the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) on roughly 4,200 Scottish police officers, has revealed that they would feel safer with handguns to protect themselves from the public.

Scottish Police in the Edinburgh streets. Photograph: Daily Express

The findings came from an eighth of the workforce who said that they believe their existing personal protective equipment (PPE) is “ineffective”, this includes handcuffs, leg restraints, body armour and batons.

The results found 63.7% of officers responding said they would feel safer carrying a handgun. This figure rose to 73% in the 25-34 age group. Almost 90% felt they would benefit from having a taser.

Police Scotland has 600 officers who are trained in using Armed Response Vehicles (ARV). However, only 400 of these officers are full-time firearm officers.

The SPF released a statement regarding the findings, “SPF acknowledges that work has already started on improving officers’ PPE and therefore is not making specific demands on the basis of this report.”

“The data collected though has given an important and helpful insight from those who use PPE on a daily basis and should be used to shape future policy, training and procurement decisions.”

Amid the findings of the SPF surveys, armed police will patrol Edinburgh’s Christmas market due to terror concerns. This will be followed by various markets around the UK, where there will also be concrete barrios and stop and search checks put in place. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said:

“Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved, and the public are encouraged to continue with their plans to attend or take part in events as normal.”


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£160,000 worth of drugs seized at Scottish railway stations

Drugs have been recovered at three of Scotland’s busiest stations in the past week.

Police seized £80,000 of cannabis at Edinburgh Waverley station last week. A 45-year-old man was arrested.

An officer on patrol at Glasgow Central Station. Photograph: BBC

Two days later, a 56-year-old man was detained at Aberdeen Station with £13,000 of heroin. He was also charged with having an unlicensed firearm and bladed weapon in his possession.

On Monday, officers arrested a man arriving at Glasgow Central with £70,000 worth of cannabis.

Superintendent David Marshall believes the recoveries are a significant step in the right direction.

He said:“These are three very impressive seizures which has resulted in an estimated £160,000 worth of drugs being taken off the streets.

“This work underpins why cross-border and end-to-end policing on the rail network is extremely vital.

“Our officers can quickly work with British Transport Police colleagues south of the border, as well as other police forces, to share intelligence and intercept drugs.”

“These arrests prove that our work to make the railway a hostile environment for criminals to operate is working.

“We will continue to work hard to make sure passengers feel safe and crime is deterred.

“The public can, of course, help us achieve this, and I would advise anyone with any concerns to report them to us. You can do this by sending a text to us discreetly on 61016. ”


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Scottish man tortured in India

30-year old Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested on November 4 in India. He allegedly had a sack thrown over his head and was bundled into a police van whilst out shopping in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab.

 

It is believed that the Scot has been electrocuted and beaten whilst he is held by Indian police.

 

Mr Johal is also said to have had his nipples and earlobes electrocuted. Source: STV

The Dumbarton based man had travelled to India with family to get married. Mr Johal has been accused of “running a magazine” in the UK about atrocities during the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in India and “influencing the youth through social media”.

 

Speaking to STV, his brother Gurpreet said: “I am outraged by this. My brother has been tortured and when I saw the pictures from the court he looks emaciated and has lost a lot of weight.

“He has been tortured by being beaten and having electric shocks to his genitals. This has happened because the UK Government has not prioritised the case. They have given it no attention. They have made no leeway.

“He has been remanded until Friday when he will appear again. We are very worried about him and what will happen to him.”

 

His brother and local MP have called for British authorities to intervene.

 

Martin Docherty-Hughes, SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire, has said: “I am deeply concerned about the circumstances of Jagtar Singh Johal’s arrest and imprisonment in India.

“I have raised this as a matter of urgency with the British High Commission of India and the Foreign Office.”

 

Mr Johal is expected to appear in court again on Friday.

 

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