Work­ing for you

Rutherglen Reformer - - WORKING FOR YOU -

Another week and more wor­ry­ing head­lines about Po­lice Scot­land.

This time it has been re­ported that the na­tional force’s anti-cor­rup­tion unit un­law­fully tried to un­cover jour­nal­ists’ sources with­out ob­tain­ing ap­proval from a judge.

If these al­le­ga­tions are true, they are a wor­ry­ing in­dict­ment of a cen­tralised po­lice force that con­sid­ers it­self above the law.

But when pressed on the is­sue, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment merely shrugged its shoul­ders and said that it was a mat­ter re­served to Westminster.

As a one-off, this “it’s not my prob­lem” at­ti­tude is bad enough.

And yet it has be­come an all-toofa­mil­iar re­frain from the politi­cians that are sup­posed to hold our fledg­ling sin­gle po­lice force to ac­count.

When the public raised con­cerns about the pres­ence of armed of­fi­cers on Scot­land’s streets, the for­mer jus­tice sec­re­tary Kenny MacAskill told the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment that it was sim­ply “an op­er­a­tional mat­ter” for Po­lice Scot­land.

Worse, op­po­si­tion par­ties were ac­cused of “po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence” as they sought an­swers on the de­ploy­ment of armed of­fi­cers on be­half of the peo­ple they were elected to rep­re­sent.

The same lines were trot­ted out when con­tro­versy erupted over the force’s dis­pro­por­tion­ate and down­right ex­ces­sive use of the stopand-search tac­tic, which tar­geted dozens of pri­mary-school chil­dren de­spite one se­nior po­lice chief telling MSPs last year that the prac­tice was “in­de­fen­si­ble”.

But what the SNP Gov­ern­ment doesn’t seem to re­alise is that over­sight is not the same as “in­ter­fer­ence”.

It’s all very well lay­ing blame at the

Po­lice con­cerns Ruth David­son says the SNP Gov­ern­ment has to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for Po­lice Scot­land fail­ings

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