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McArthur on 'brutal verdict' of BBC TV report on Police Scotland

April 30, 2018 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Speaking in advance of an embargoed BBC report to be aired on Monday concerning Police Scotland the justice spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats Liam McArthur MSP said:

"This report is a brutal verdict on the combination of centralised command, a toothless police authority and Scottish ministers steadfastly refusing to listen.

"The police reforms were badly designed by ministers leading to mistakes at every level.

"We already knew that the cost had been met by the removal of hundreds of trained civilian support staff. Services were centralised and experience was lost.

"Now we learn that police officers were in fear of breaching the targets set by their high command. Nobody spoke out. The police authority was set up as a toothless and worthless body, stripped of democratic accountability.

"And government ministers had invested so much energy in the reform that they couldn't believe it wasn't working.

"We all remember the First Minister of the time Alex Salmond utterly dismissing anyone who objected.

"Yet this report shows he was wrong all along.

"What needs to happen now is for the Scottish Government to sit down on a cross-party basis to develop a more democratic and involved oversight of the police and policing policy.

"We cannot risk ministers and chief officers wielding so much power in the future."