Why we need separate Police forces
30 August 2011
Recent events have shown the corrupting effect of power - power in politics, power in the media and power in the police.
Where there is power we need checks and balances, and the separation of powers has been well recognised in democratic society. There is a danger that in the name of ‘efficiency’ too much power is concentrated in one place.
The questions raised by the relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the News of the World show the importance of independent police forces, especially so that one police force can investigate concerns in another force.
However, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has hinted strongly that he supports a single national police force for Scotland.
Centralisation is just that - central belt control, and we need less control and more Christian co-operation.
The SNP are losing their common touch. They were forced to accept the Edinburgh trams project at the beginning of their administration, but the fiasco is now beyond a joke and they are now fighting a rear-guard action and damage limitation. The decision to remove Transport Scotland from the management board in 2007 immediately after the SNP lost the vote in the Scottish Parliament has come back to haunt them. Serious decisions need more than brinkmanship and posturing.
Amalgamating all the Scottish police forces will be another decision too far.
- 25 Jun 2011: SNP dithering
- 25 Feb 2012: David Cameron wants to privatise the police. This shows the decision is politically motivated.
- 25 Jul 2012: On Newsnight Scotland tonight, Gordon Brewer asked what will happen if there is no neighbouring police force to investigate accusations of policing misdemeanours. It was in the context of Lothian and Borders police investigating a policeman who was found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. This was the first conviction of its kind against a policeman in UK. The problem is recognised, but it remains to be seen if a new Police Investigation Board will be the solution.