Lothian and Borders force accused of 'systemic failure'

LOTHIAN and Borders Police has been accused of "systemic failure", by the Police Complains Commissioner for Scotland, for failing to pass on information to prosecutors.

Tom Halpin, deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police and until recently the acting chief constable, is reported to be strongly criticised by the watchdog for reportedly endorsing the practice of his officers "filtering out" information from crime reports.

In the report published today, the commissioner, Jim Martin, criticises the force and officers, including Mr Halpin, for not passing on full details of a complex case involving two alleged assaults. The so-called "hidden" information came to light only because one alleged victim complained about how his case had been handled.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The report states: "A reasonable person might deduce from this that a lack of consistency exists in the force's approach to submitting reports to the procurator fiscal.

"I am concerned that it would appear officers of Lothian and Borders Police, from a constable to an inspector in the complaints and conduct department, and finally to the deputy chief constable, attempt to justify the omission of pertinent information that could have a bearing on the case, by stating the report to the procurator-fiscal reflected the evidence that could be proved and was corroborated."

A force spokesman said the findings of the report would be considered along with any requirement for further investigation.

Related topics: