Archive | April 2018

Martin Henry’s Report into sexual abuse in Scottish football has been “delayed”

Martin Henry’s Report into sexual abuse in Scottish football has been “delayed”

 

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Scottish Police Authority boss cashed in on the Clutha helicopter disaster

Scottish Police Authority boss cashed in on the Clutha helicopter disaster

They joined those grieving for victims of the Clutha tragedy…and billed the taxpayer for their time.

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Police watchdogs have been blasted for charging the taxpayer to attend the funerals of victims of the Clutha helicopter tragedy.

The Sunday Post can reveal Vic Emery, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, who banked £90,000 last year for the part-time role, clawed back money for going to funerals of three of the 10 crash victims.

Three other board members also claimed part of their daily allowance and mileage costs to attend Clutha funerals or memorial services.

Astonishingly, the watchdog, which is charged with overseeing the country’s single force, said the claims were justified because they were part of

its staff’s “corporate responsibilities and commitments”.

The revelations come a year after we revealed SPA board members were paid expenses for attending meetings without having to prove they were actually there or provide receipts.

Frontline police officers last night slammed the SPA board.

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “This news will stun police officers all over Scotland.

“The notion that profit was even a consideration suggests poor judgement and leaves an exceptionally bad taste in the mouth.

“Hundreds of police officers willingly gave up their own time to attend the funerals and memorials for the Clutha victims and did so simply because it was the right thing to do.”

A dossier obtained by this newspaper showed that Mr Emery, who is paid £450 for every day he works for the SPA, made three expense claims in relation to Clutha funerals.

On December 7, 2013 he made a claim for 0.3 days at £135, as well as £2.25 mileage, for attending the funeral of helicopter pilot Captain David Traill at Glasgow University.

Three days later he claimed 1.2 days at £540 and £32.40 mileage for attending the funeral of PC Tony Collins on the Isle of Arran.

Then, on December 12, he put in a claim which stated he attended the funeral of PC Kirsty Nelis at Glasgow Cathedral before heading to his office for meetings and later a dinner with the Chief Constable Stephen House.

Mr Emery’s file also shows he sometimes claimed his £450 day rate for more than the 15 days a month that he was expected to work after the creation of the SPA.

Asked who approved these extra payments, the SPA said “these requirements have been discussed with Scottish Government officials as part of the chairman’s regular monthly meetings”.

From April, any extra days worked will need prior approval.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This does not look good. We all make mistakes. What matters is putting it right.

“I’m sure police board members will regret this and it is good the chairman has seen fit to donate his fee to the Clutha trust.”

A further breakdown of the SPA expenses shows board member Jeanne Freeman also made a partial day rate claim for attending a Clutha funeral on December 11.

Meanwhile other board members Douglas Yates and Moi Ali claimed partial day rates for attending Clutha memorial services in Glasgow.

Other claims show that SNP Stirling councillor and board member Graham Houston claimed £150 for attending a Holocaust Memorial Day in his home city last January.

Labour Glasgow Councillor Paul Rooney also claimed £60 for a meeting with a newspaper journalist in October, 2013.

Another board member, Brian Barbour, used his initiative to try and save the taxpayer money by buying a senior rail card for his travel.

The SPA accounts show its board collectively banked £539,000 in wages in 2013/14, with board members picking up an average of £41,000.

Mr Emery’s claims relating to the Clutha funerals were all submitted in March last year and we approached the SPA for comment on Friday morning.

On Friday afternoon a spokesman responded to confirm that as a personal gesture, Mr Emery would be donating the expenses to the Clutha Trust, which helps disadvantaged youngsters.

Our reporter asked if this meant both his travel expenses and day rate. Yesterday the SPA confirmed it was both.

A spokeswoman for the police watchdog said: “A great many people from within policing attended these sombre but very important and public events.

“Senior police officers made attending these events a priority for their professional time. The SPA also shared that approach.

“The key difference is that SPA members are non-executives and are remunerated at a day rate for the duties they take on, plus travel expenses incurred.

“It is SPA’s view that all of the activities listed in your enquiry are appropriate activities for non-executive board members to have undertaken as corporate responsibilities and commitments, and to have included within the range of duties for which they are reimbursed.”

wo wo its the sound of the Police

A former head of the controversial police Counter Corruption Unit has accused his own bosses of wrongdoing.
Jim Dillett worked for the CCU for four years, rising to detective chief inspector, where he had responsibility for the 17-strong unit.

The department were accused of illegal spying when they attempted to find the source of a Sunday Mail story about the murder of sex worker Emma Caldwell.
A serving officer, DC Andrew Reid, 39, is suing Police Scotland for £900,000 compensation at an employment tribunal.
He claims he was wrongly targeted by the CCU and Dillett in a corruption probe.
Now-retired Dillet, 53, has revealed how he reported his own boss, superintendent Louise Skelton, to the Crown Office over alleged corrupt practises known as wilful falsehood.
Jim Dillett retired in 2014 (Image: Steve Welsh)
It followed a 2012 probe into a 27-year-old rookie officer in Glasgow who had been accused of associating with twin brothers linked to an organised crime group.
Dillett could not find any evidence to back up the claims of criminality and recommended she be allowed to complete her probation.
He claims his report was ignored by Skelton.
Disciplinary action was then taken against the probationer over her alleged crime links and she was asked to resign as an alternative to dismissal.
But she was later reinstated after a new investigation.
An inspector came forward and claimed he had been asked to give the rookie an adverse report so that she would fail her probation and be forced out the police.
DC Andrew Reid is seeking £900,000 (Image: Sunday Mail)
Dillett claims Skelton was aware of the inspector’s concerns but did nothing about them.
He has given evidence to the Reid employment tribunal twice in the last fortnight after being called as a witness by the national force.
Though he defended the original CCU probe into Reid, he revealed his concerns to the tribunal about the conduct of Skelton and other senior officers. Speaking to the Sunday Mail, he said: “I found it difficult to defend the work of the CCU when I gave my evidence, because of Louise Skelton’s actions.
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“You have a situation where a police officer was being looked at without the proper authority.
“Skelton was given information by me that the officer had a satisfactory performance during her probation. The allegations against the probationer were proceeded with, despite no obvious evidence of criminality.”
In his original report to the Crown Office, Dillett accused Skelton of suppressing his findings, which he believes would have safeguarded the rookie’s future in the force.
James Hanlon, left, and brother Bryan (Image: Daily Record)
He had insisted that she had committed no crime in relation to her associations with the twins. Dillett believes that senior officers including Skelton wanted the new officer out of the job and thought she would be an easy target.
After lodging the corruption complaint about Skelton, Dillett left the department and retired in early 2014.
The CCU – now called the Anti-Corruption Unit – were part of the Professional Standards Department of Police Scotland, which investigated misconduct and criminality by police officers and staff.
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The rookie officer had unwittingly found herself in the company of gangland twins Bryan and James Hanlon, 30, during a night out in February 2012.
She later reported this to her boss but no action was taken at first.
An investigation was reopened shortly before her probationary period was due to end and she was forced to quit.
Sunday Mail revealed how CCU were under investigation over hunt for sources (Image: Sunday Mail)
Three months later, the officer was given a personal apology by Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan and offered her job back.
She returned to work but has since left the force.
After her reinstatement, Skelton was the subject of the misconduct report by Dillett to the Crown Office.
He alleged she created a wilful falsehood by not reporting the concerns of the inspector who claimed he had been asked to write an adverse report.
It is understood Skelton, who is still a serving officer, was later given an internal misconduct warning but cleared of any criminality. Dillett said that despite this case, he was proud of his work in the CCU.
He said: “We only investigated officers when they become involved in criminality such as drug dealing, associating with organised crime groups or illegally accessing information on the police computer.
Former detective constable Alan Cotton claimed his career was ruined by an alleged CCU smear campaign (Image: Jamie Williamson)
“We also looked at sexual predators in the police preying on vulnerable females.
“One corrupt police officer can tarnish the police for years in the eyes of the public.
“We were bound by very strict rules and had to show every inquiry was in the public interest.”
Dillett denies claims that officers from the CCU phoned Crimestoppers with false information on suspects to justify starting investigations.
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He added: “We had about 1000 referrals a year. To try to find work to make ourselves even busier would be crazy.
“There were no personal vendettas against individual officers.
“I didn’t know about DC Reid until we had the complaint about him.”
Reid and another officer were cleared in 2015 of illegally using the police computer after a CCU probe.
Louise Skelton was subject of the misconduct report by Jim Dillett (Image: Hamilton Advertiser)
He claims he was wrongly hounded by the CCU and Dillett, after complaining about their investigation into him.
Earlier this month, another whistleblower, former detective constable Alan Cotton, lost his claim for compensation against Police Scotland and the CCU.
Cotton, 47, had claimed his career was ruined by an alleged CCU smear campaign.
The CCU first came under fire when they illegally targeted three men in a hunt for Sunday Mail sources on the Emma Caldwell murder investigation.
Emma, 27, was found dead in a Lanarkshire wood in April 2005.
The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office said the breaches of regulations – which demand a judge’s approval before police try to find a journalist’s source – were reckless, not wilful.
Read More
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We revealed how a suspect was interviewed six times by detectives but never arrested or charged despite admitting he knew Emma and directing officers to the track where her body was found.

Last week, when asked about the Dillett’s report, a Crown Office spokesman said: “Correspondence was received regarding a number of allegations relating to internal police
procedures.
“No formal decision was taken by the procurator fiscal as they did not amount to evidence of criminal behaviour.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “The matter referred to by Mr Dillett was reported to the Crown Office and the procurator fiscal service, which found no evidence of criminality.
“The matter was referred back to the force and handled internally.
“It would be inappropriate to comment on the outcomes of internal proceedings.”
Read More
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LYIN’ OF DUTY

LYIN’ OF DUTY

Ex-cop on brink of suicide after being ‘fitted up by anti-corruption officers over murder bid case’

Former Detective Constable Alan Cotton, 47, revealed how his life was “destroyed” by an alleged smear campaign which left his successful policing career in ruins

A DESPERATE ex-cop was driven to the brink of suicide after claiming he was fitted up by a force anti-corruption squad over a murder bid case.

Former Detective Constable Alan Cotton, 47, revealed how his life was “destroyed” by an alleged smear campaign which left his successful policing career in ruins.

Alan claims he had to leave the police

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Alan claims he had to leave the police

Despite being cleared of any corruption, he insists he had no choice but to quit his job with the force.

And yesterday he told an employment tribunal of the devastating emotional impact the claims had made on his life.

Alan said: “Being accused of corruption is the worst thing you can label a cop with. It totally destroyed my life and I was at my lowest ebb. I’m ashamed to say I had thought of ending my life.
“It’s not something I’m proud of. I went to counselling and managed to get through it.”

The ex-cop claims his ordeal started after an attempted murder in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, in 2009.

A drug feud had erupted in violence and led to a man being shot and having his arm almost hacked off in a machete attack.

A potential key witness in the case approached Alan who persuaded him to make a statement instead of taking matters into his own hands.

The ex-cop told the tribunal in Glasgow: “He called me to say his life had been threatened by one of the accused.

“He said he wouldn’t go to CID but he would go to Diane Greenaway who was a Crown precognition officer because he trusted her.

“I called Diane to tell her that he would be getting in touch.”

Alan was quizzed at Govan police station in Glasgow

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Alan was quizzed at Govan police station in Glasgow

The hearing was told that a year later the Counter Corruption Unit — which has since been rebranded — asked to speak to Alan at Govan police station in Glasgow.

He was accused of being in a relationship with Diane and having criminal links to a Crown witness before being charged with data protection offences — which were later dropped.

Alan, of Saltcoats, said: “I’d checked a police report which was not directly linked to the same incident but was closely.

“I wanted to make sure intelligence I had been given was accurate. I told them from the beginning I’d checked it.

“They said it was non-policing purposes as I wasn’t directly involved with the case.

“This was despite the fact that I provided the intelligence in the first place.”

Alan claimed he would go to Diane Greenaway who was a Crown precognition officer

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Alan claimed he would go to Diane Greenaway who was a Crown precognition officer

Alan added: “They deliberately failed to interview witnesses who would have backed up what I said. They started with a conclusion I was guilty.”

The tribunal heard no one was ever convicted over the murder bid.

But Alan — who worked on the probe that snared Limbs in the Loch killer William Beggs — claims he soon discovered the charges against him were part of something bigger.

He said he was later told the investigation had been deliberately botched to protect the accused.

Alan, who is claiming constructive dismissal, told the hearing: “He was allegedly a police informant. Vital evidence was lost. It was being done by the upper echelons of Police Scotland and the Procurator Fiscal. I was collateral damage.”

Alan lodged an official grievance against four officers on the anti-corruption team — Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dillet, DCI Laura McLuckie, Superintendent Louise Skelton and Detective Sergeant Shona Bassano.

But his complaint wasn’t upheld and his career then stalled.

He said: “A chief inspector told me that I was now on the ‘a***hole dartboard of the CCU’.

Alan launched an official grievance against Jim Dillet, pictured

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Alan launched an official grievance against Jim Dillet, pictured

PC Andrew Reid was cleared of data protection breach charges after 35 court appearances over six years

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PC Andrew Reid was cleared of data protection breach charges after 35 court appearances over six years

“There’s a culture that anyone who complains about them is fair game. If you complain about CCU then they’ll get you. CCU is full of the most corrupt police officers I’ve ever known.” Alan was kicked out of CID and put back on uniform duties.

His attempts at promotion failed and he admitted he reached breaking point.

In 2016, he was reported unfit for duty due to stress. Alan said: “I received a call that the CCU inspector wanted to interview me. As a result of that I resigned as my position was untenable.”

During the hearing, two serving officers also backed up Alan’s allegations of corruption — which echo scenes from hit BBC drama Line of Duty.

PCs Andrew Reid and Amanda Daly were cleared of data protection breach charges after 35 court appearances over six years.

PC Reid, 39, who has been on the force since 2000 and now trains detectives, said: “The CCU has a system in place where they select what information to leave out of a report in order to justify a charge.

“It’s ingrained in the department. If you make a complaint against professional standards or CCU you’ll pay for it dearly. It never leaves you. The expression within the force is there’s a ‘smelly kipper in your HR file’.”

The tribunal also heard from John Sallens, 52, who has 30 years’ police experience

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The tribunal also heard from John Sallens, 52, who has 30 years’ police experience

PC Daly, 36, has been a cop since 2001 and said she had also suffered at the hands of CCU.

She told the hearing: “When I was questioned by CCU they said they knew I’d complained about them.

They wanted me to make false assault allegations about my partner at the time and said I’d then be OK.

“The CCU inquiry was devastating. I’ve been on medication for depression and stress ever since.

“I’ve been working indoors for six years, it’s been horrific.”

The tribunal also heard from John Sallens, 52, who has 30 years’ police experience and was detective sergeant in the Serious Crime Squad before retiring in 2013.

He said: “CCU think everyone is guilty and are happy to omit evidence which may contradict that.

“I’ve tried to address it at the Scottish Parliament. An officer tried to take his own life after being wrongfully accused of misconduct.

“CCU carry personal agendas, they criminalise decent cops.

“They are at the beck and call of senior management who utilise them for the same reason.

“This is a department completely out of control.

“They cause serious mental health issues, alcoholism and the break up of relationships.”

The hearing continues.

DO you need help? Call the Samaritans on 116 123.

 

Bent cop Beeb hit wins fans

TELLY hit Line of Duty has gripped millions of viewers by casting a dramatic light on anti-corruption probes.

Scots ace Martin Compston stars as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in the award-winning Beeb smash that follows AC-12 — a unit tasked with weeding out bent cops.

Scots ace Martin Compston stars as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in the award-winning Line of Duty

BBC
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Scots ace Martin Compston stars as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in the award-winning Line of Duty

The former anti-terrorism officer transferred to the department after an innocent man was shot dead on an operation.

Each season focuses on a different case led by Superintendent Edward “Ted” Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar.

One storyline followed the probe into a Detective Chief Inspector after his mistress killed her accountant in a hit-and-run.

The show has scooped a raft of awards and was the most popular drama series in BBC2 history before chiefs moved it to BBC1 for the current fourth season.

Fans watched in horror as Compston’s character was left critically injured in hospital after being attacked by a masked suspect known as “balaclava man”.

 

Last unit hit by 100 ‘scandals’

THE Anti-Corruption Unit was formed last year after the previous team was plagued by scandal.

More than 100 allegations were raised against the former regime — the Counter Corruption Unit — in seven years.

Holyrood started looking into the unit after it emerged cops broke spying rules during a probe linked to murdered vice girl Emma Caldwell.

Ex-deputy chief constable Neil Richardson was forced to step down last March over the saga.

A tribunal awarded one ex-cop £10,000 compensation after his communications were intercepted.

We also told last year how the old unit received 105 reports of dodgy cops in just nine months — from inside the force.


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CRIME-BOTCH

Glasgow cops hushed up evidence blunder after a gun, drugs and DNA were dumped in unlocked garage for four years at Partick nick, tribunal hears

A senior officer has claimed the bungle could see criminals walk free from jail if their lawyers launch appeals against their convictions

COPS hushed up a major security blunder when key evidence was dumped in an unlocked garage for four years, a tribunal heard.

A gun, drugs and DNA samples linked to serious crime were piled up unrecorded in a unit at Glasgow’s Partick nick, it is claimed.

DC Andrew Reid is suing police force

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DC Andrew Reid is suing police force

And an officer has warned criminals could now walk free from jail after the bungle.

Detective Constable Andrew Reid, who is suing chiefs for alleged victimisation, told the hearing: “It would have caused an outcry.”

DC Reid, 39, claimed DNA samples potentially linked to unsolved murders, home raids and rapes were abandoned in freezers at unlocked garages.

He said a gun and bullets used in an armed robbery were dumped in a cupboard where anyone could have sauntered in and swiped it.

Key evidence was left in unlocked storage unit at Partick nick

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Key evidence was left in unlocked storage unit at Partick nick

And civvy staff employed at the “dysfunctional” storage unit behind Partick nick in Glasgow would vanish for hours to play pool during their shift as a stack of evidence lay unprocessed, he alleged.

The senior cop made the bombshell relevations at a hearing where he is suing Police Scotland for nearly £1million over victimisation claims.

He warned the “embarrassing” catalogue of blunders could see crooks’ lawyers launch appeals arguing convictions are unsafe.

DC Reid, of East Kilbride, told a hearing in Glasgow he was sent to work at the facility in 2010.

He said: “There was a freezer which had four years of unprocessed DNA samples.

“These could be DNA from four years of unsolved crimes which could include murder, rape, serious assaults and housebreakings.

“If it had got into the public domain every solicitor in Glasgow who had a case with a DNA connection could possibly have an unsafe conviction.

“There were no records of any productions for four years — this included drugs, firearms, DNA and money.

Partick HQ in Glasgow

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Partick HQ in Glasgow

“It had all just been chucked in cupboards in unlocked garages within an unsecured yard.

“There was a firearm and ammo from a robbery which a member of the public could have just walked in and taken.

“I found underwear from a rape trial which broke the chain of evidence in the case.

“The production keepers weren’t registering evidence properly.

“They would just go off during the day. They would play pool for two hours — the store was meant to be audited every four weeks but there had not been one for four years.”

DC Reid claimed shoddy record-keeping — from cases at Partick and Drumchapel nicks — was hushed up by top brass.

He went on: “I was told an issue had developed at the production store over the past four years which could cause outrageous embarrassment and was not to be spoken about.

“I was to find out what was wrong and to fix it.

“It became very apparent there were huge dysfunctional issues

good advice Question It!

 Researching Reform

Question It!

by Natasha

Welcome to another week.

An official review into the care system in Scotland has concluded that children in care are being bullied because they are using social work jargon they are picking up from their case workers. The review calls on the government to use language that makes sense to children and doesn’t lead to them being singled out and bullied.

An article on the findings, published in The Herald Scotland, tells us:

“”Children in care talk about being “LAC kids” (looked after child), discuss their “siblings” rather than their brothers and sisters and often live in a “unit” rather than a home”, said Fiona Duncan, chair of the Independent Review of Scotland’s Care System….

Duncan Dunlop, chief executive of the advocacy charity for care experienced young people Who Cares? Scotland (WCS), backed the findings.

“This definitely leads to bullying,” he said. “Workers just don’t think.”

Fiona Duncan is now calling for services such as health, education and social work to use language that children feel comfortable with.

Our question this week then, is just this: do you think England and Wales should also look at changing the way its social workers speak to children in care about their lives? 

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