Tuesday, 12 April 2016

POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSIONER FOR SCOTLAND FAILURE TO ENSURE IMPARTIALITY IN SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE FRAUD CASE


Mr E Cairns

72 Hillhouse Street

GLASGOW G21 4HP

16 September 2010

                 

 

 

Mr John McNeill

Commissioner

PCCS

PO Box 26300

HAMILTON ML3 3AR

 

 

Your refs:    PCCS/00448/08 and

                    PCCS/0119/10    

 

                                             

Dear Mr McNeill,

I refer to your report on the handling of my complaints by Strathclyde Police dated August 2010 and your letter dated 8 September 2010.

In this letter I address the section in your report reviewing how Strathclyde Police responded in respect of the second head of complaint that the PCCS had identified for consideration, which was:

‘that an officer from another police force should have investigated criminal allegations made by the applicant against Strathclyde Police;’

Your report on this head of complaint includes the following statements:

‘The responsibility to make such a decision lies with the Area Procurator Fiscal, not the police.  ................ this complaint was not one which Strathclyde Police was required to deal with.’

On 26 January 2009 I wrote to the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police in the following terms:

‘POLICE PROTOCOL IN SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE FRAUD CASE REVIEW’

‘On November 2008 a report in the Scottish edition of the Mail on Sunday headed ‘Probe into police failure to find body at the home of missing man’ stated that ‘Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly said he had requested an officer from the Strathclyde force to conduct a detailed review in line with police protocol which prevents forces investigating their own failings’.’

‘Why did police protocol not prevent Strathclyde Police from investigating their own alleged failings in the review of the Scottish Enterprise fraud case, the outcome of which was communicated to me by Detective Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson of Strathclyde Police in a letter dated 19 September 2008?’

According to this report it was the police who requested that an officer from another force should investigate, not the Area Procurator Fiscal. And the report refers to police protocol in respect of this decision, in direct contradiction of your assertion.

Are you oblivious to the existence of any such police protocol?

In any event since I had already obtained advice on behalf of the Faculty of Advocates in 2006 from Ms Valerie Stacey QC, now Lady Stacey, a judge at the Court of Session, that I had grounds for a complaint to the Scottish Government about the Lord Advocate’s conduct in this case, which advice was supported by the Legal Services Ombudsman’s Opinion in 2007, no one in the Crown Office was sufficiently independent and impartial in the circumstances to decide on this case at all.

This case ought to have been transferred to an alternative authority not in the same jurisdiction.   

Your support for the police in disregarding this head of complaint is unlawful. As a former Member of the Scottish Human Rights Commission you ought to have recognised my fundamental rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

The fact that you have knowingly brushed this important issue aside is a matter of very grave concern.

In view of the very serious nature of the above and its relevance to wider issues in this case I have copied this letter to Strathclyde Police, to Scottish Enterprise, to the Scottish Government’s Ms Stella Manzie, Director General Justice and Communities, to Audit Scotland, to Mr Bob Doris MSP and to the Crown Office.

This is clearly a matter of public interest that would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, justice not having been seen to be done.

This letter has therefore been put into the public domain as is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

                               Eddie Cairns.

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