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Rennie: Police Scotland shouldn't be free to silence internal critics

July 11, 2017 11:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called for the intervention of the Justice Secretary and Scottish Police Authority to ensure that the police hierarchy are not free to silence internal critics after it was revealed that new guidance has been issued within Police Scotland that will crack down on whistle-blowers.

Commenting Mr Rennie said:

"It was because of principled police officers and staff members that we got to bottom of the deep rooted flaws in Scotland's police service. These people should be hailed not silenced.

"The M9 crash, the chaos in the control rooms, the back filling of civilian roles by police officers, the near misses, armed police on routine duties. All of these issues were exposed in part through the assistance of police staff and officers who cared about the future of the police service.

"A declaration of media and political contacts is designed to snuff out such contacts rather than to aid transparency.

"The Leveson inquiry investigated these matters and we must be careful to learn the lessons but a political and media register would have chilling effect and would enable those in charge to escape the necessary scrutiny.

"The Justice Secretary and Scottish Police Authority should intervene to ensure that the police hierarchy are not free to silence internal critics."