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Who watches the watchers?

Scotland: the police state

Between April and December last year, the police conducted almost 520,000 stop-and-search procedures on members of the Scottish public, almost 2,000 a day and twice as many as are carried out by London's Metropolitan police.

 The SNP in 2007 committed itself to providing the country with an extra 1,000 police officers. Last March, the numbers of police officers in Scotland reached a record high of 17,496.

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Matches legislation introduced in 2012, which sought to target young, working-class men from Glasgow's poorest districts for espousing tribal sentiments in support of Celtic or Rangers.

Scots police were much more likely to go after people using mobile phones in their cars than those who had committed a sexual assault.

 we have learned that several hundred police officers actually have serious criminal records or been accused of serious criminal offences. Among the allegations are rape, sex attacks, violence, wife beating, theft, fire atta…

you are being watched

Britain has 20% of the world's CCTV cameras, says a study, despite having only 1% of the world's population. There are at least 51,600 CCTV cameras controlled by local authorities in the UK – costing a total of £515m between 2007 and 2011.

Fife has the second-highest number of cameras in the UK and Aberdeen is sixth highest. Fife has 1420 cameras, which cost just under £1 million between 2007 and 2011. Aberdeen has 942 cameras, which cost £1.78m. Edinburgh City Council was the biggest spender in Scotland over the same period, amassing costs of £6.3m for just 232 cameras.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties at Big Brother Watch said "Britain has an out-of-control surveillance culture that is doing little to improve public safety but has made our cities the most watched in the world...There is no credible evidence that more cameras will reduce crime"

The police and the class war

Scotland's rank and file police are to call for the right to strike, currently denied them by law.
Members of the Scottish Police Federation , representing ranks up to chief constable, will debate the issue at their annual conference.

Police are prohibited by law from striking. The nearest they came to industrial action was a demonstration last year when 22,000 off-duty officers south of the Border protested over the pay deal they had been given. Many officers believe not being able to strike means they enter pay negotiations at a disadvantage and there is an increasing feeling within the federation that pay levels have been slipping.