Political police

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Am I alone in feeling uncomfortable with the way the police seem to have become politicised? The latest assertion by Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone (Letters, 13 December), that Police Scotland are in favour of Section 57 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill seems to me be yet again, a case of the police telling us what laws we need, instead of applying the laws that we have.

We are told that Police Scotland need this change in the law, which will result in a further 3,500 cases coming before the court, resulting in more, or should that be easier, convictions for the police.

This need for new laws to make it easier for the police comes hard on the heels of the OB laws (the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act), another occasion when the enactment of a new law was driven by the police.

The OB laws, supported only by the SNP, are controversial, criminalising one section of society, football supporters, for offensive behaviour. They also give the police the power to define what is offensive. We were told when the OB bill was passing through parliament, that the police needed this new law, as the existing “breach of the peace” crimes had become too difficult to prosecute.

And now the police tell us they could fill the courts and get more convictions if only there was no need for corroboration.

Now call me an old cynic, but is the next request from a spokesperson speaking for ­Police Scotland likely to be a request to allow the police to determine innocence or guilt? Just do away with the courts and let the bobby on the beat decide.

Tom Minogue

Victoria Terrace

Dunfermline, Fife