Polly Station

This page looks at British police corruption, bullying and malpractice.

The police are watching and listening to us, so they are too busy to deal with what we used to call crime. Tony Blair and New Labour imposed nw laws in the name of freedom. Life on theinternet is no escape, they watch that all the time, They are watching me now- or is that paranoia? Officially, in this new age, anyone who believes and harbours conspiracy theories is mentally ill.

The British police play on fear, they do not alleviate it . Without a shred of evidence, they used ex con John McVicar turned profiler, to help them bang up hapless Barry George for the clinical execution of Jill Dando. McVicar even had the gall to write and get a book published on his stitch up. What a poacher turned game keeper.

THE senior cop accusing police chief Phil Gormley of bullying was his top aide for just six months, it emerged last night.

Superintendent Graham Mc­Inarlin, 54, bagged his job as the Chief Constable’s head of executive support in January.

 Phil Gormley is facing watchdog probe over misconduct claims
Phil Gormley is facing watchdog probe over misconduct claims

The experienced officer — named by sources — is described as a “well-liked, accomplished, old-school cop” who was looking forward to his new role at the force’s Tulliallan Castle HQ, Fife.

But an insider said: “A few weeks ago he told a colleague he’d had enough — and walked out.”

Mr McInarlin is currently off with stress after lodging a complaint against the Police Scotland boss. His position saw him working with Mr Gormley as boss of a hand-picked officer team assisting the top cop.

The former chief inspector was previously commander for Glasgow’s southside. He led the hunt for missing Janet McQueen, 58, whose body was found in Pollok Country Park in March.

The news emerged as the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner launched its probe into gross misconduct allegations.

Insiders reckon the watchdog — headed by former Crown Office prosecutor Kate Frame — will take dozens of statements from staff at Tulliallan Castle, where Mr Gormley also lives.

But the force No1 will not be suspended during the probe, following a special meeting of his bosses in the Scottish Police Authority yesterday.

 Graham McInarlin lodged the complaint
Graham McInarlin lodged the complaint

The SPA’s Nicola Marchant said they’d “carefully considered” calls to relieve Mr Gormley of his duties.

But she added: “The SPA takes the view that a suspension is not appropriate. As with any process of this nature, that is an issue we will keep under review.”

Last night Niven Rennie, former chairman of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, said the suspension row was a “difficult” call as Mr Gormley lives at Tulliallan in a controversial £599-a-month cut-price rent deal.

Mr Rennie said: “He’s not guilty of anything until the evidence proves otherwise. The SPA have got to be fair to him and be seen not to overreact.

“The second thing, though, is they have got to be fair to the witnesses.

“The matter is further complicated by the fact that Mr Gormley stays at Tulliallan Castle. If you put him on gardening leave, his house is actually attached to the headquarters. So where does he go?”

Under disciplinary rules for officers ranked Assistant Chief Constable and above, “gross misconduct” is classed as “a breach of Standards of Professional Behaviour that is so serious that dismissal may be justified”.

 Former chairman Niven Rennie
Former chairman Niven Rennie

The standards, included in legal regulations, are listed under 10 headings. One of them is titled “Authority, respect and courtesy” and is likely to cover bullying.

It says: “Constables act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy.

Constables do not abuse their powers or authority and respect the rights of all individuals.”

Under rules spelled out by the SPA, an officer can be put on full pay gardening leave if “an effective criminal or misconduct investigation may be prejudiced if the senior officer is not suspended”, or if “the public interest requires the senior officer’s suspension”.

Tory justice chief Liam Kerr said the claims were troubling.

 SPA's Nicola Marchant
SPA’s Nicola Marchant

He said: “To have the Chief Constable under investigation in this manner is extremely concerning, and will undermine confidence in our police force.”

And Labour’s Claire Baker said: “All allegations must be fully investigated and I’d urge PIRC to be as transparent as possible.”

We told yesterday that Mr Gormley admitted he was being investigated by PIRC.

It is understood the bullying complaint was made more than two weeks ago.

The probe is the latest crisis engulfing Police Scotland since Mr Gormley succeeded under-fire Sir Stephen House last January.

The force faces a £188million budget black hole over the next three years.

Bobbies have complained of crumbling buildings and cars, and of overtime restrictions hitting crime fighting.

The national force is also set to lose 400 officers by 2020.

Shake-up fails to end force woes

POLICE Scotland was meant to get a reboot in 2016 after two and a half years of turmoil.

Sir Stephen House had gone — with some gentle encouragement from the government — following a terrible spell culminating in the notorious M9 ‘missed call’ tragedy.

But since Phil Gormley was parachuted in, it’s been more of the same. Grim public and staff surveys. A budget hole which looks impossible to fill. Cops angry about cuts.

Gormley’s boss, Scottish Police Authority chairman Andrew Flanagan, is quitting after being accused of bullying — a claim he denies.

And now Gormley is facing a probe which could see him sacked.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson oversaw Police Scotland’s overhaul after being brought in by Nic-ola Sturgeon to sort out the mess.

He is on holiday. And he’s unlike- ly to be relishing his first day back.


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A report from the College of Policing has warned of a “bullying, arrogant, macho” culture within British police forces, where whistleblowing is frowned upon and cases of racism and sexism are rife.

The evidence-based review, carried out by senior academics in criminology and law, states that it is “career limiting” to challenge the status quo within police forces.

The report says that although whistleblowing has been enshrined in the law, there is no real culture of it within the police force, the Guardian reports.

Officers who were interviewed said that whistleblowing against chief officers is extremely rare – and in the cases where it has been done, the whistleblowers had often resigned because of the “extreme unpleasantness” of their work environment after they had made allegations.

The report was commissioned in 2013, with senior academics interviewing officers and investigators who had probed 40 cases of police misconduct.

Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans to increase protection for police whistleblowers.

“Police officers and staff need to know that they can come forward in complete confidence to report wrongdoing by their colleagues,” she insisted.

As well as singling out the problem of whistleblowing, the report found that UK police forces have a “bullying boys’ club culture” which recruits a particular kind of candidates.

READ MORE: Crackdown on police surveillance of journalists pledged following outcry

The study also found corruption at the higher end of police forces, with senior officers using expenses to pay for private school fees and extramarital affairs.

“We were told that some chief officers tended to see themselves as being more akin to ‘captains of industry’ than public servants – with all the entitlements and privileges that came with the CEO role. Several interviewees described a ‘culture of entitlement’ at chief officer level,” the report reads.

One of the authors said the report gives valuable insight into how police officers fall foul of professional conduct.

“It identifies both organisation pressures and individual vulnerabilities that can result in misconduct among people doing very demanding jobs. Understanding these factors is central in mitigating the risks,” said Professor Mike Hough, as quoted by the Guardian.

READ MORE: UK police slammed for using anti-terror laws to uncover secret sources

But the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Steve White, defended police conduct, while hinting that government cuts are not helping police officers do their jobs.

“The police code of ethics exists to clearly define the standards of behaviour and good practice which is expected of officers throughout the country and which they must adhere to,” he said.

“Police officers are facing unprecedented demand and the cracks are beginning to show. This report must be taken seriously to ensure that we have the senior officers needed to deal with the ever thinning blue line,” he added.

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