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Scottish Liberal Democrats to trigger vote of no confidence in police structures

December 6, 2017 7:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

In their opposition debate today, Scottish Liberal Democrats will propose that the Scottish Parliament ask a new independent Commission to devise ways to repair the SNP Government's botched policing reforms, following a string of crises and concerns about accountability.

The motion put forward by the party states that the Parliament does not have confidence in the structure of both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to deliver resilient and accountable policing at a strategic level. It proposes that a Commission present proposals for change by next summer.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:

"Police officers and staff work incredibly hard, day in day out, protecting our communities. I know many look on in disbelief at what is going on at the top. They have been left to make the best of a bad job following the SNP's botched centralisation.

"The leading protagonists may have changed but we are setting them up to fail so long as problems are hard-wired in by the legislation.

"We have heard promises of a reset before. There is no escaping the fact, however, that the current policing structures are not fit for purpose. With a budget black hole, failing IT, and a forced merger with the British Transport Police on the horizon, we need to see a fundamental change.

"Parliament has a legitimate role in setting out the structures of policing in Scotland. The SNP Government bulldozed through flawed proposals when it centralised the police. Having lost their majority, SNP Ministers must now provide an opportunity for the damage to be undone with the help of an independent expert Commission.

"Liberal Democrats will always speak up when it matters, irrespective of whether it is inconvenient to police bosses and government ministers."