Police fitting me up, claims accused officer
A POLICE officer who has been on restricted duties for six years claims he was reported to the Crown Office after a newspaper report appeared about one of his colleagues.
Constable Andrew Reid, 39, was acquitted earlier this year of data protection offences in a case which cost the taxpayer £500,000. Reid now believes Strathclyde Police also reported him to prosecutors over a tabloid newspaper report which appeared in 2009 about an alleged breach of the peace – not involving him – at a police training college.
Reid, whose employment tribunal takes place next month, claims his link to the story was fabricated by police who sought to portray him as the source.
Reid had been accused along with his former partner, Constable Amanda Daly, of breaching data protection laws in 2009. But their trial collapsed in January last year after a sheriff said there was no case to answer.
Reid now believes counter-corruption officers also reported him to the Crown for leaking information to a newspaper. However, prosecutors took no further action in that regard. He also believes his emails and Facebook posts were monitored by the counter corruption unit.
He said the allegation he had passed information to a newspaper about one of his colleagues was “ridiculous”.
“I’m now sitting in a situation where the police could quite easily sack me for that and I had absolutely nothing to do with it,” he said.
“They just made it up. In their report to the Crown Office, they said they had evidence that I was responsible for that newspaper article. It’s absolute lies.
“In all that time, I have been getting paid £40,000 a year to do nothing. I’ve nothing to do with the newspaper article and the police know that – they’re fitting me up.”
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) is currently reviewing Police Scotland’s counter-corruption practices after Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Stanley Burnton ruled that the force had breached data rules in an attempt to unmask a journalist’s source.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has promised that the review will be “thorough” and “in depth”. The final report is expected to be submitted in the spring.
Reid added: “Up until recently, the position of the police has always been that the reason I was treated so badly was that I was awaiting trial for data protection (offences).
“That trial fell, so they now don’t have that defence. They have come up with this elaborate and ridiculous story.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that there are current proceedings at the employment tribunal, raised by Constable Reid; however, we are not able to comment in detail beyond that.”
Last night Reid’s solicitor, Aamer Anwar, said: “It is shocking that despite a spotlight being shone on the alleged unlawful activities of the Counter Corruption Unit they do not change habits.
“Andrew Reid has been the victim of harassment and victimisation for years, yet Police Scotland will not accept responsibility and appear to be shifting the goalposts by using discredited ex-officers to make outrageous claims for which they have no proof.
“The new chief constable needs to take control before Police Scotland is hit with another CCU scandal.”