Mr Eddie Cairns
72 Hillhouse Street
GLASGOW G21 4HP
15 February 2017
Deputy Chief Constable
The Professional Standards Department
Police Headquarters Scotland
P.O. Box 21184
ALLOA FK10 9DE
Dear Sir or Madam,
I wrote to the Professional Standards Department on 1 February 2017 detailing my concerns about alleged misconduct by Temporary Superintendent John Laing.
On 3 February 2017 I wrote again adding to that complaint.
In response to an earlier complaint Police Scotland emailed me on 6 June 2016 including the following general guide as to timing, reproduced here in italics for convenience:
‘Your message was forwarded to professional standards yesterday and they will aim to contact you the following working day........’
Copies of my letters to the Professional Standards Department dated 1 February 2017 and 3 February 2017 are attached.
I have been informed that you are the officer responsible for the maintenance of professional standards in Police Scotland.
In the absence of any response at all from the Professional Standards Department to this complaint, now some 10 working days later, I want to bring this formally to your attention.
In case the lack of response is based upon the recommendation in 2010 by the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland to Strathclyde Police not to respond to any complaints from me Police Scotland formally confirmed to me in response to a Freedom of Information request that this recommendation does not apply to Police Scotland.
The recommendation had been fundamentally defective in any event because the grounds for it were false. In reality I had not written 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police.
Contrary to the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland Professor John McNeill’s lies to the press I did not bombard the force with complaints against its officers for 17 years, I did not write 82 letters of complaint to the police, my letters were not confusing and difficult to understand, in fact most consisted of a single sentence covering the submission of new evidence obtained at various times in subject access disclosures under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, a substantial amount of resources had not been expended by Strathclyde Police in dealing with 82 letters of complaint from me, in fact the police only responded to about 4 of the genuine 8 letters of complaint, two of which letters had been swiftly withdrawn by me in any event because I recognised that the officers involved were young and inexperienced, the vast majority of the alleged 82 letters of complaint had not been dealt with reasonably, in reality the vast majority, about 95%, of my letters had been completely disregarded by the police despite the fact that they had presented significant information and evidence to assist the police in their enquiries into this case, and In the particular circumstances of this complaint the Commissioner should not have recommended that Strathclyde Police no longer considers or responds to any complaint made by me which was directly related to those listed in his report.
The following false statements to the press by Professor McNeill, reproduced here in italics for convenience, were particularly harmful to me:
A substantial amount of resources has been expended by Strathclyde Police in dealing with the above complaints, which in the vast majority of cases have been dealt with reasonably. In the particular circumstances of this complaint, the Commissioner recommends that Strathclyde Police no longer considers or responds to any complaint made by the applicant which is directly related to those listed in this report.
The Commissioner does not make this recommendation lightly, but for the reasons stated considers it necessary to do so.
As a former human rights commissioner, I am, perhaps more than most, an ardent supporter of protecting the rights of individuals. However, it was time to draw a line.
Substantial resources had been directed towards trying to understand and resolve the various complaints over an extended period of time.
Everyone has the right to have a complaint considered, but I am also mindful that there will be occasions where resolution will not be possible, no matter how long the correspondence continues. This was one such occasion.
In reality this was all just fabricated hogwash from a disgracefully dishonest Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, Professor John McNeill.
The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner’s Head of Reviews & Policy Mr or Ms Ilya Zharov wrote to me on 8 February 2017 addressing this point about the 82 supposed letters of complaint to the police in the following terms, reproduced here in italics for convenience.
I fully accept that only 8 of those letters were recorded formally as complaints about police.
Of course Police Scotland knew all along that Professor McNeill’s assertions were lies because the police wrote to me in 2010 plainly stating that the police had not said that I wrote 82 letters of complaint and advising me to take the matter up with the Commissioner. The Commissioner was shamefully but predictably intransigent.
In an earlier letter dated 21 October 2016 I was notified that Police Scotland does not hold the following requested information, reproduced here in italics for convenience:
Please disclose any recorded information by Police Scotland indicating that a recommendation by the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland to Strathclyde Police should be applied to Police Scotland.
Since this is a matter of interest to the general public I have published this letter on the internet.