An indicator of where you will find police and federation related articles in the media.

What’s in the Media Today?

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Leaked watchdog report criticises SNP Government’s ‘political’ merger of British Transport Police

The controversial merger of Police Scotland and British Transport Police was “entirely” a political decision and did not include a detailed business case, according to a leaked watchdog report. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) also claimed that rail operators, which currently fund the BTP, have suggested the transfer to Police Scotland was a “material change” to existing agreements that may not receive their “consent”. The watchdog also noted that the Scottish Police Authority – the body which holds the police to account – did not have the “capability or capacity” to deliver the transfer and agreed the single force was better placed to lead on the programme

Highlands ‘betrayed’ over police service centralisation, claims leader

Senior Highland councillors are set to write to the First Minister to say they feel betrayed by the centralisation of police services in the north. Local authority leader Margaret Davidson has put forward a motion asking councillors to back her fight against the closure of the Inverness police control room, saying her campaign so far has proved futile. The Aird and Loch Ness councillor is also campaigning for the new National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) to be based solely in the Highlands to create additional jobs, amid proposals to split the work between Inverness and Glasgow.  – Herald View

Scotland is no soft touch, says Lord Advocate

Scotland‘s chief prosecutor has dismissed claims the country has a “soft touch” justice system. Lord Advocate James Wolffe said such rhetoric – repeated again as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined new reforms to cut the number of Scots behind bars – was a “mischaracterisation”. His remarks echo growing frustration among justice experts that a nation with one of Europe’s highest incarceration rates is described as soft on crime. Mr Wolffe stressed that prosecutors and courts looked for decisions which were “appropriate and proportionate” before adding “That is not the same thing as soft touch.”

SNP and the Tories clash over short sentences scrap

SNP plans to effectively end prison sentences of less than a year are proving controversial, with the Tories saying the move will mean convicted killers escaping jail terms. Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge to “extend the presumption against short term sentences from three months to 12 months” in her Programme for Government yesterday, was welcomed by campaigners, many in the legal profession, and other political parties. The Tories, however, were highly critical. Their justice spokesman Liam Kerr hit out at the move, saying figures showed that in 2015-16 two people convicted of homicide received a sentence of up to a year, as did 27 people convicted of sexual assault.

Dorset and Devon and Cornwall police chiefs consider merging forces

The chief constables of Devon and Cornwall and Dorset Police are exploring the possibility of a full merger between the two forces. There is already an established strategic alliance programme between the forces which has seen “significant efficiencies” in the past four years.  Police and crime commissioners from both forces have informed Policing Minister Nick Hurd of their support for the plans to explore further collaboration.

LGBT hate crime in Scotland soars by 89% in five years

Hate crime against lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Scotland has increased by a shocking 89 per cent in five years, according to a new report. The research by Stonewall Scotland also shows that over the last 12 months one in five lesbian, gay and bisexual people have experienced a hate crime or incident while almost half of transgender people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity. They reported being spat at, verbally abused and prevented from using both female and male toilets if they were transgender.

11,000 violent criminals set to dodge prison

More than 11,000 criminals – including killers, violent thugs, sex offenders and housebreakers – are set to dodge jail every year under SNP reforms. Nicola Sturgeon revealed plans this week to introduce a presumption against ‘short’ prison sentences of up to 12 months.

Now criminals could be let out of jail to vote

Prisoners could be escorted to polling booths under a proposal to end the blanket voting ban on most convicted criminals in Scotland’s jails. MSPs on Holyrood’s equalities and human rights committee are examining a plan to axe the outright ban on most inmates being able to vote.