Commenting on the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) calls for the right to search suspects’ homes without a warrant, Scottish Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Alison McInnes said:
“The current limits on the police’s powers of search and entry are in place not only to protect suspects’ human rights, but to ensure that due process is followed in gathering evidence. They are not meant as a restriction, but rather as a safeguard.
“I have serious concerns over the ASPS’ calls for powers to be extended. Unless they are able to provide concrete evidence that current arrangements are harming the delivery of justice in Scotland, then I fail to see how handing more powers to the police in this area would be a good move.”
Commenting as the Scottish Government release the consultation responses to the proposed reform of the Police and Fire Services in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said:
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently been against the Scottish Government’s proposals for a single national police force.
“Grabbing all the power to the centre could jeopardise the good, solid, local policing work taking place in many areas in Scotland; a fear outlined in a number of these responses.
“The threat to jobs as a result of this reorganisation has been kept under wraps by Ministers. They have been entirely reluctant, even in the face of evidence, to admit there could be any threat to jobs.
“We said it was ridiculous to imagine this sort of reorganisation without any threat to jobs. ACPOS agrees with us. The Justice Secretary needs to own up to what he knows about what will happen to police numbers.
“COSLA is right to point out that the police force could be at risk of greater political interference as the force is nationalised.
“As the Justice Secretary steamrolls his plans for a single national police force, he must clarify how his reforms will keep local accountability of our Police and Fire Service at the core. This must be his priority now.”
Peter Bellarby, commenting, said “I entirely agree with Alison. There are two big issues. The first is the possibility of political interference if there is a single police force. The second the need for local accountability and having a police force that meets the need of the North East.”