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I beat Bobbies to dot-cop website

Net gains ... the two web addresses registeed by Vince Godley

A BOILER repair man told how he snapped up the ‘perfect’ address for Scotland’s new unified force SEVEN YEARS ago.

Vince Godley, 58, says he registered in 2006 in case the country’s eight constabularies ever decided to merge.

Now just days before the new force comes into operation he vowed he wouldn’t sell — and would use it for WHISTLEBLOWERS to flag up any police corruption claims.

Vince, who registered the domain to his store in Dunblane, Perthshire, said: “I’ll paint on the side of a trailer and drive around to advertise it.

“I want people to send in letters they have from procurator fiscals who have dropped cases from police who have failed to investigate things properly.

Cop shop ... Vince Godley at store where site is registered


“I’ll publish them online. There’s no hiding place nowadays with the internet.”

The force, under Chief Constable Stephen House launches next Monday.

But a source said: “I hope the IT guys make sure our site comes top in a Google search.” Police Scotland said: “Our website is”



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From midnight, Scotland becomes a police state!

HISTORY will be made at midnight when Scotland’s eight police forces are merged into one, with the fledgling service already dogged by complaints of political interference, backroom “chaos” and top-level feuds.


From midnight Scotland's police forces will be merged into one

The move will see 17,500 officers, 6,700 civilian staff and an annual budget of £1.2billion put under the control of two men – Chief Constable Stephen House and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. It is the biggest change to Scotland’s public framework since the introduction of Devolution 14 years ago and promises to transform the way in which the country is policed for decades to come.

However, the Scottish Government has declared that two of the founding principles of the new force are protecting the public in the face of “Westminster cuts” and “enhancing national governance”, rather than catching criminals and upholding the law.

The astounding statement has sparked a furious reaction from critics who have slammed the new set-up as a “police state” and accused SNP ministers of forcing through the changes for their own political gain.

It comes as police insiders spoke of “confusion” ahead of tonight’s changes, with one source suggesting that many staff are still in the dark about where they will be and what they will be doing tomorrow morning.

Others have warned that the ongoing power struggle between Mr House and Vic Emery, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, is already threatening to “derail” the new force.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Police boss Stephen House says
'we are very prepared for single force'

Stephen House said he hoped the public would not see a dramatic change to the service

The boss of Scotland's new single police force has told BBC Scotland he and his staff are "very prepared" for its launch at the beginning of April.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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One new police force ... and eight old I.T. systems

Cops merger chaos

Launch ... Stirling base

SCOTLAND’S single police force goes into action today — with EIGHT separate computer systems that don’t link up.

Despite the cop merger, the old IT networks used before the change are incompatible with each other.

And it means Police Scotland officers will be unable to access vital information about crooks or cross-reference intelligence in different parts of the country.

Some data is already stored at national level, including details of criminal records and gun licensing.

But cops won’t be able to access domestic abuse cases or child sex offences, which could be important if a victim or abuser has moved — potentially leaving the public at risk. Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, the former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “The situation is untenable as we enter a new era.

Chief ... Stephen House


“Modern policing is all about using information and intelligence, as it enables officers to respond quickly, often knowing in seconds what problem they face. With communications systems not linked up, that advantage is lost and could have a serious effect on officers’ ability to do their jobs.

“To proceed with the biggest reform in policing in hundreds of years without a single IT system is beyond belief.”

Tory chief whip John Lamont added: “It undermines the whole idea of a single police force.”

The IT problem is the latest blunder to hit the new force, which has its communications HQ in Stirling and is led by Chief Constable Stephen House, left. Last month the single service was forced to ditch its new logo.

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson said: “A considerable amount of work needs to be done addressing the issue for the single service. This cannot be done overnight.”

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Police Scotland: How will the new single force work?1 Apr 2013 07:24

IMPORTANT questions about the work and organisation of Scotland's new single police force answered.

Police Scotland
Stuart Nicol

What is Police Scotland?

The new Scottish police force replaces the eight forces covering geographic areas that have been in place since 1975. The unified force are meant to be more efficient and to save money by combining costs. Critics say they will lead to a loss of local policing and that rural areas will be neglected. But new Chief Constable Steve House says the Police Scotland service will become a model for policing across the UK.

How is the police service going to work?

The new service will have one chief constable, Mr House. The 55-year-old Scot sounds English but was born in Glasgow and lived there until he was 12. He was shortlisted for the job of commissioner of London’s Met in August 2011. He will have four deputy chief constables and six assistant chief constables, with only one female senior officer.

Three of the assistant chief constables will be responsible for local policing in areas East, West and North.

The other three will head specialist units – Major Crime and Public Protection, Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Operational Support.

Across Scotland there will be 14 local divisions, each led by a chief superintendent, only two of whom are female.

How will it change policing?

On the ground you should not notice the difference, says the new chief. The police will turn up as normal though the badging might be different with the local divisions disappearing.

There is a new number for non-urgent calls – dial 101 – which will be automatically routed to the nearest police office

There will still be an emergency response on 999.

Will there be a national plan for policing?

No, there will be local policing plans drawn up in consultation with local bodies but they will reflect national priorities that House has set out. They are improving the investigation of rapes, tackling domestic violence and reducing violent crime.

How will police staff be affected?

There will be a new Police Scotland HQ in Stirling in command of more than 17,000 police officers, and there are about 6500 civilian workers in the Scottish police service.

There will be no compulsary redundancies but the civilian workforce will be reduced through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage to maybe half that size. There will also be a reduction in non-staffing costs.

Who will guard the guardians?

Police forces used to be accountable to local police boards, with elected politicians aboard. That system is being replaced by a body called the Scottish Police Authority, who will be appointed by Government ministers.

It is a centralising move, say critics, making police less accountable to the public.

There has already been a turf war between the chair of the new police authority and the chief constable over who controls finance and personnel ­issues. The chairman of the SPA, businessman Vic Emery, promises full scrutiny.


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Cops’ logo no-go: Legal hitch leaves new force ID without emblem

Chief ... Stephen House

COPS in Scotland’s new national force have ID badges WITHOUT logos — after bosses failed to register a new design in time.

Police Scotland is still waiting to get the go-ahead for the Saltire-based emblem following its historic launch yesterday.

But there were fears that the plain-lettered warrant cards currently in use by 17,400 officers are easy to forge.

Chief Constable Stephen House, left, unveiled a new force logo in January. But bosses fell foul of laws on coats of arms dating back to 1592. An official called the Lord Lyon has to approve ALL official symbols and can prosecute anyone using “unauthorised designs”.

Blocked ... badge


Top brass needed standard ID for officers across the country, so issued them without logos.

A source said: “The new warrant cards are a joke. Anyone could forge them. Some officers have drawn stick men and ‘Polis Scotland’ on pieces of card as a joke and shown them to pals.” Last night a Police Scotland spokesman said there were “no immediate plans” to reissue IDs.

Meanwhile, the new 101 non-emergency number was branded a “rip-off” after it emerged the 15p charge — compared to BT’s local 4p-a-minute rate — applied even if callers have all-inclusive deals with

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Local policing 'safe' under merger

Scotland's new single police force came into being at midnight

Scotland's merger of its eight police forces into one will provide a more accountable local police service, according to the Scottish government.

However, opposition parties claimed Police Scotland, which came into being at midnight, created a new structure which could undermine local policing.

Labour claimed there was a turf war between the chief constable and the Scottish Police Authority chair.

And the Lib Dems accused the justice secretary of a power grab.

However, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the structure had been overwhelmingly approved by the parliament and four committees, and shaped after extensive dialogue with police organisations, local authorities, unions and others.

The new 17,000-strong single national force has replaced the previous eight-force structure, and it has become the second largest force in the UK, after the Metropolitan Police in London.

Stephen House, formerly chief constable of Scotland's biggest force, Strathclyde Police, is the force's chief constable.


He will be held to account by the Scottish Police Authority, chaired by Vic Emery. It in turn is accountable to government and the Scottish Parliament.

Mr MacAskill said: "There will continue to be strong local accountability in the new landscape and the new arrangements will lead to more local scrutiny of police services."

'Time bomb'

Lewis Macdonald, Scottish Labour's justice spokesman, said a new chapter in Scottish policing had begun.

"We owe it to the communities who rely on our hard-working police officers for their safety to get this right," he said.

But he accused Mr MacAskill of poor leadership and claimed there had been "highly embarrassing" disagreements between Vic Emery and Steve House.

He said: "In order for the new police force to enjoy the confidence of the people it serves, it has to move quickly to overcome these teething problems.

"Put the games aside and ensure that the local presence that people want in their communities will not be compromised by this new structure."

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes described the agreement between Mr Emery and Mr House as a "ticking time bomb".

She said: "Kenny MacAskill rushed his plans for the new force through parliament - grabbing hold of extra powers as he went.

"But it's already coming back to bite him. Ongoing disagreements between the chief constable and police authority have threatened to derail the new force even before it began."

She added that, despite being against the idea of a centralised police force, she would do what she could to make sure Police Scotland succeeded.


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Will Glasgow follow the example set by their new team members from Edinburgh by getting off their fat asses and patrol the streets
One ass, one beat and one police force

SENIOR police chiefs will be taken away from their desks and sent on regular street patrols as part of the launch of the new single force today.


Chief Superintendent Mark 
Williams, Edinburgh’s new police commander, revealed the move alongside a widespread restructuring taking place under Police Scotland.

Hundreds of backroom officers, including senior staff, will be expected to spend at least one eight-hour shift per month on the beat to help spearhead the city’s Campaign Against Violence (CAV).

The normally desk-bound officers will team up with front-line colleagues to target 
alcohol-related violence, often carrying out city centre patrols on Friday and Saturday nights.

Chief Supt Williams, who will direct the city force from his base at St Leonards police station, said his aim was to “hit the ground running”.

The 43-year-old pledged that the number of officers in Edinburgh will remain unchanged under Police Scotland while efforts such as CAV days will try to bolster the street presence.

Chief Supt Williams said that a trial run of the CAV days had been held in recent weeks and proved to be a “huge success”.

He added: “Officers in back offices will get the chance to put on a yellow jacket to help get all our resources on to the street. It’s a really good way of putting out a highly visible 

The trial day saw officers carry out 104 stop and searches, make nine arrests, conduct 80 bail checks on alleged domestic abusers, and visit nearly 500 off-sales and licensed premises.

And Chief Supt Williams today unveiled a number of newly created units tasked with tackling crime in the Capital.

They include:

• An Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit, based at West End station.

• A Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, based at the Amethyst sex crimes unit in the Gyle, but later moving to the city centre.

• A Divisional Rape Investigation Unit, also located at Amethyst 

• Three Community Investigation Units in stations at Corstorphine, Gayfield and Craigmillar to tackle offences such as housebreaking and car theft.

• A new city-wide road policing unit, based at Fettes.

• An expanded licensing section, based at Fettes, with increased visits to pubs and clubs.

Meanwhile, Operation Arable – a crackdown launched in February last year to combat a surge in assault and robberies in Edinburgh – will patrol hotspots.

The operation was cited as a major factor behind a 30 per cent drop in street muggings, and now becomes a permanent fixture of city policing.

Chief Supt Williams said that the creation of other new specialist units was aimed at targeting key offences with “renewed vigour”.

He said: “We will be particularly focused on alcohol-related violence, domestic abuse and sexual crimes, particularly rape. These are vital strands of policing because they have such an impact on the 
vulnerability of individuals. For domestic abuse, we will be better able to target perpetrators of these crimes and provide greater support to 

“Our message to perpetrators is that there will be no place to hide.

Fictional scene part one> Batman: [taps the Bat-signal] Nice
Jim Gordon: I couldn't find any mob bosses
Batman: Well Sergeant
Jim Gordon: Its Lieutenant now, you really started something, bent cops running scared, hope on the streets
Batman: But?
Jim Gordon: We still haven't picked up Crane or half the inmates he released from the asylum
Batman: We will, we can bring Gotham back
Jim Gordon: What about escalation?
Batman: Escalation?
Jim Gordon: We start carrying semi automatics, they buy automatics, we start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor piercing rounds, and *you're* wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops. take this guy: armed robbery, double homicide. Got a taste for the theatrical, like you. Leaves a calling card.
Jim Gordon: [Gordon presents Batman with a clear plastic evidence bag containing what appears to be a single playing card; Batman turns it over to reveal a "Joker"]
Batman: I'll look into it.


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Q How will Police Scotland operate?

A It will have 14 local divisions, each led by a chief superintendent. Chief Supt Mark Williams and Chief Supt Jeanette McDiarmid will head up the Edinburgh and Lothians, and Scottish Borders divisions respectively. Former chief constable of Strathclyde Police Stephen House is in charge of the single service which also has four deputy chief constables and six assistant chief constables.

Q Will the public notice a day-to-day difference?

A Chief Supt Williams said: “Front-line policing in the community will still have the same focus and the same roles. There’s not a been a change of staff and residents will see the same faces on patrol.”

Q How many officers will work in Edinburgh?

AEdinburgh had 1250 officers before the launch. Chief Supt Williams said that the numbers under the new set-up will remain “unchanged”.

Q How do you contact police?

A A single 101 non-emergency number has been brought in across Scotland to help take pressure off the 999 system. The communications centre in the Lothians remains at Bilston Glen, Midlothian.

(the new 101 non-emergency number was branded a “rip-off” after it emerged the 15p charge — compared to BT’s local 4p-a-minute rate)

Q Where will Police Scotland headquarters be?

A Command headquarters is at Randolphfield in Stirling.


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Cops are hit in police force stitch-up

Chief ... Steve House

BEMUSED cops have been told to unpick defunct force names from their uniforms — after being given SEWING KITS.

Officers are to remove old badges from body armour and leave only the word ‘police’.

Sources last night said the move comes amid efforts to “standardise” the 17,400 workers in Police Scotland, after Monday’s merger of eight forces.

An insider said: “There are plenty of stitch-up jokes going about.

“Nobody objects as it’s common sense and much cheaper than issuing new uniforms. It’s funny cops are getting issued with haberdashery equipment and told to de-brand themselves.”

Police Scotland, led by Chief Constable Steve House said staff in Strathclyde and another un-named force have been issued with “stitch pickers”. A spokesman said: “This was by far the cheapest way of unbranding.”

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Police Scotland was formally established on 1 April 2013 and is responsible for policing across the length and breadth of Scotland, some 28,168 square miles. Police Scotland is the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police.

The Service is led by Chief Constable Stephen House and has 17,436 police officers, 6,168 police staff and 1,404 Special constables who are working together to deliver the best possible policing service for the people of Scotland. The Chief Constable is supported by a command team of 4 Deputy Chief Constables, Assistant Chief Constables and 3 Directors. Further information about the command team can be found in our Executive Team section

Police Scotland’s purpose is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities in Scotland. Our focus is on Keeping People Safe which is at the heart of everything that we do.

There are 14 local policing divisions, each headed by a Local Police Commander who ensures that local policing in each area is responsive, accountable and tailored to meet local needs. Each division will encompass response officers, community officers, local crime investigation, road policing, public protection and local intelligence.

Alongside the local policing divisions, there are a number of national specialist divisions. The Specialist Crime Division (SCD) provides specialist investigative and intelligence functions such as Major Crime investigation, Public Protection, Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Safer Communities. These functions may not be required frequently but when a serious crime takes place, or public safety is under threat from criminals, the most professional response is available, regardless of where you live.

The Operational Support divisions provide specialist support functions such as Road Policing, Air Support, Dog Branch, Marine Policing and the Mounted Branch

Police Scotland’s priorities are outlined in our Annual Police Plan and ensure that we are delivering a service which is focussed on Keeping People Safe.

The priorities in our Annual Police Plan are aligned to the strategic police priorities set by the Scottish Government and the strategic objectives outlined by the Scottish Police Authority in their three year plan. They are also informed by the local policing plans set at local authority and multi member ward levels.

To find out more about policing in your area, visit the Your Community section

The corporate interim headquarters of Police Scotland is based at Tulliallan in Fife which is also where the Scottish Police College is based, the training home of Police Scotland.

Police Scotland’s Forward Command Base is at Randolphfield in Stirling. This command base ensures the Police Scotland command team is able to oversee policing operations across the country. The Chief Constable and most of the Command Team are based here.

Police Scotland took over responsibility for policing in Scotland from the eight former police forces, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Beverly Hills cops rack up posh hotels bill

Posh tour ... cops are billing taxpayer for top hotels

BUNGLING cops revealed their taste for luxury foreign hotels like the glitzy Beverly Hills Plaza in Los Angeles — when they accidentally “leaked” one of their own files.

Embarrassed police chiefs mistakenly released details of the stay at the glitzy £240-a-night US inn and a host of others as they responded to questions about taxpayer-funded foreign travel.

Yesterday’s blunder came as it emerged Scotland’s eight former police forces spent almost £600,000 on overseas junkets between 2008 and 2012.

That included four-star trips to Thailand, Australia, India and Los Angeles at hotels charging up to £350 a night.

But, when we asked Police Scotland for more information about the Strathclyde force’s junket to the Plaza, a spokesman said: “Oh — You were not meant to be sent that.”

Go with the Flo ... pricey Hotel Kraft in Italy


The document was revealed as cops answered a Freedom of Information request on jet-setting trips.

It showed officers also enjoyed stays at the exclusive Marriott Renaissance in Washington DC, where rooms cost as much as £353 and guests are offered complimentary spa treatment.

Bosses on a trip to the Netherlands stayed at one of the four-star Crowne Plaza hotels in Amsterdam — which charge up to £295 a night and offer private limousines.

The Hotel Kraft in Florence, Italy — at up to £290 a night — was also used by Strathclyde officers.

And during a trip to France, cops stayed at the Petit Madeleine Hotel, Paris, which costs up to £200 for a bed.

The force’s officers also checked into the Clarion Hotel, Stockholm — the “official hotel of the Abba museum” — where rooms are up to £240 a night.

Luxury ... Marriott Renaissance in DC


The most glamorous destination was the Beverly Hills Plaza, where a night costs up to £240.

But Strathclyde even forked out to stay at a four-star hotel in their own city — The Menzies Hotel, Glasgow — which costs as much as £200 a night.

Last night Taxpayer Scotland spokesman Eben Wilson said police chiefs were wrong to enjoy “privileged expensive treatment” on trips abroad.

He added: “It is not necessary to spend our money on international premium hotels for short stays in major cities. All public servants have an ethical duty to use taxpayers’ money carefully.

“To maintain our trust it’s vital that they act as if they were us — spending frugally on our behalf as if the money they use was their own.

“That’s what we would do on a foreign trip. The alternative is the impression that they consider themselves so important that they deserve privileged expensive treatment.

Rue the day ... Petit Madeleine in Paris


“That separates us unfairly and turns us against what they are doing which may be highly worthwhile.”

The figures for all spending on foreign travel showed that the old Strathclyde force spent £413,000 over the four financial years to 2012, while the former Lothian and Borders force ran up bills of £145,000.

Police Scotland — formed when the eight separate forces merged last month — confirmed details of the costs behind the trip to Los Angeles.

They said two officers stayed at the Beverly Hills Plaza for a “murder reduction conference”.

Officials stayed for nine nights at a cost of £185 per person per night — this means they splashed £3,330 of taxpayers’ cash for the hotel bill alone.

A spokeswoman added: “Police Scotland will always seek out best value accommodation and travel when officers and staff are undertaking business on behalf of the organisation.”

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Four detectives from elite anti-terrorist unit are facing corruption probe over claims of fraud   

COUNTER-corruption cops have launched an investigation over allegations of fraud and data protection breaches.

Govan Police Station

FOUR detectives who worked for an elite unit which targets terrorists are at the centre of a
corruption probe.

Detective Sergeant John Sallens, 48, and three Major Investigation Team colleagues have been reported to Crown Office prosecutors who will decide if they should stand trial.

The others are constables Geoff Fisher, 48, Michael Neil, 43, and Lynn McConnachie, 42.

All four were based at the MIT office in Glasgow’s high-security Govan police station.

The probe into Sallens, Neil and McConnachie spanned a seven-year period from 2005 to last year.

Detectives from the counter-corruption unit investigated Fisher over alleged incidents spanning a nine-month period.

Sources claim the two investigations have caused a bitter split between MIT and counter-corruption officers.

One said: “MIT officers deal with all the big cases like terrorism and murders.

“MIT had been tasked with investigating some aspects of the counter-corruption unit, which went down very badly.

“There is now bad blood between the two units. The allegations broadly relate to attempting to pervert the course of justice, data protection breaches and fraud.”

The two reports are being considered by a newly created Crown Office Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division.

Sallens has retired from the force and Fisher is on sick leave while Neil and McConnachie are still serving.

Police Scotland said: “Three serving officers with Police Scotland, aged 48, 43 and 42, have been subject of a report to the Crown.

“A fourth individual, aged 48, who is now retired, was also the subject of a report to the Crown.”

The Crown Office said that the report into Sallens, Neil and McConnachie was “in connection with alleged incidents taking place between January 2005 and June 2012”.

The Fisher report was about alleged incidents between June 2011 and February 2012.

They added: “The reports are under the consideration of the Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division.”

Sallens and Fisher declined to comment while Neil and McConnachie were unavailable.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Police Scotland has referred a case involving an officer from the west of Scotland to the Crown Office and Procur­ator Fiscal Service, Scotland on Sunday has learned.

The officer could face court action under the Data Protec-tion Act 1998 as a result of over 40 investigations into alleged leaks made by former Strathclyde police personnel.In England, 61 people have so far been arrested following probes into alleged corrupt payments to public officials. It is not known whether the Scottish case involves financial inducements.

The investigations into all­eged leaks of police information in Scotland emerged from a Freedom of Information legislation request to Strathclyde Police. Documents reveal police have only found enough evidence to support a prosecution in one of 45 cases.

Of the rest, eight have been disproved, 29 unsubstantiated, and seven are subject to review in the event that further evidence comes to light.

Aamer Anwar, a lawyer who presented a dossier to Strathclyde Police alleging phone hacking of high-profile Scots, said: “There is no place for corr­uption in the police service, whether they leak or sell (information) it should not be tolerated.

“The concern I have is these matters have been going on for a number of years. Suddenly information appears in a newspaper and it is information that could only have come from a police officer, as even the Crown or defence agent would not know.”

In future, allegations of leaking or selling information by police may be investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc), which came into force at the start of April, at the same time as Police Scotland. The Crown Office now has the option of directing Pirc or Police Scotland to investigate alleged data protection breaches by police.

Despite just one case out of 45 being referred to the Crown Office so far, Police Scotland said it was satisfied with the investigations carried out.

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