Police Officers business interests register beats secrecy on judicial interests. POLICE SCOTLAND has released the latest data on their officers business interests, revealing enterprises from property letting to golf, education, entertainment & consultancies.
The information, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, follows on from an article in May which revealed 1,512 Police Officers in Scotland have secondary businesses & jobs in addition to their work as Police Officers.
The information relating to business interests of Police Officers is recorded on the Police Scotland HR system (SCOPE).
Police Officers in Scotland are required to conform to the provisions of the Police Service of Scotland Regulations 2013 which state: “A constable must not have a business interest without the consent of— (a) the Authority, in the case of a senior officer; (b) the chief constable, in the case of any other constable, provided that, in the case of any such constable in whose case the chief constable has an interest otherwise than as chief constable, the chief constable must refer the matter to the Authority for it to consider whether to consent.”
While the details disclosed by Police Scotland does not name actual companies and businesses in which officers are involved, the level of detail gives a flavour of potential cross over between cops second jobs and activities in public authorities, public contracts and particularly relationships with the legal world.
Police Scotland refused to provide an actual breakdown of organisations by name, claiming the cost would be too much to provide this information.
However, there is a significant public interest in the identification of businesses in which Police Officers operate, alongside their occupation as law enforcers, given potential conflicts of interest which can only truly be judged by the public, rather than Police Scotland itself.
The latest figures from Police Scotland reveal that since January 2015 there has been 354 Police Officers and 48 Police Staff who have been granted a business interest which is recorded on their SCOPE record.
However, Police Scotland refused to provide information on the number of Police Officers and Police Staff who have had a business interest refused – citing cost grounds on providing the information.
Police Scotland claimed they would have to “manually check each and every individuals personnel file to see if any individuals have applied and been refused”.
The full disclosure from Police Scotland on Police Officers & civilian staff outside business interests as of July 2017:
Chief Superintendent: Education, Entertainment, Property Letting.
Superintendent: Agriculture, Property Letting, Shop or Other Like Business.
Chief Inspector: Coach, Director of Scottish Police Credit Union, Driving, Education, Golf, Photography, Property Letting, Shop or other like business, Sport Related, Voluntary Worker
Inspector: Administration, Board of Director, Football Club, Coach, Consultant, Crew member, Dance Class, Driving related, Education, Entertainment, Holiday Letting, Photography, Play in a Band, Property Letting, Referee, Retail Industry, Sales, Shop or other like business, Sport Related, Trade, Voluntary Worker:
Sergeant: Account manager, Administration, Agriculture, Childminding, Coastguard Rescue Officer, Construction, Consultancy, Driving, Education, Entertainment, Fitness, Football, Interior design/upholstery business, Gardening related, Health related, Landscape gardening, Musical interest, Office work, Photography, Piper, Play in a Band, Property Letting Retail, self-employed Joiner, Shop or other like business, Sport Related, Trade, Voluntary bailiff, Voluntary Worker.
Police Constable: Administration, Agriculture, Army cadet force instruction, beauty therapies, Catering, Cake making, Child-minding, Child nursery, Cleaning services, Coach, Coastguard Rescue Officer, Construction, Consultancy, Crew member, Cricket, Deer stalking, Driving, Education, Electrician, Entertainment, Fitness, Football, Foster carer, Freelance instructor, Gardening related, Ground maintenance worker, Gym attendant, Handicrafts, Handyman, Health related, Home carer, Indent chipping, Joiner, Martial arts, Motorcycle training instructor, Musical interest, Office work, Partner in family own farm, Parent Council, Photography, Piper, Play in a Band, Political, Professional footballer, Property Letting, Referee, Reservist, Retail, RNLI Lifeboat crew, Sales, Search Team Member, Self-defence Instructor, self-employed Joiner, Shop or other like business, Sport Related, Sports Therapy/rehabilitation, Spray Painter, Stockman, Tele-marketing, Territorial ARMY, Therapist, Trade, Training, Tutor, Unpaid Garage assistant, Voluntary Worker, Volunteer – Highland hospice, Volunteer – HM Coastguard, Web development and hosting, Writer.
Police staff (Civilian employees): Administration, Agriculture, B&B / Guest House, Beauty Therapies, Bicycle repairs, Caretaker, Cleaning Services, Comedy writer / Performer, Consultant, Consultant trainer, Dance class, Director, Driving, Education, Electrician, Entertainment, General maintenance Person, Handicrafts, Musical interest, Office work, Photography, Play in a Band, Property Letting, Receptionist/Administrator, Relief Support Worker, Reservist, Retail, Sales, Sale and Marketing, Secretary/treasurer, Self-catering holiday accommodation, Shop or other like business, Sport Related, Therapist, Trade, Voluntary Worker Wedding planner and car hire.
A Freedom of Information request recently published by Police Scotland on the website whatdotheyknow reveals figures of at least 1,512 Police Officers who have business interests outside their main employment in the Police Service for Scotland.
Regulation 5 of the aforesaid regulations outlines the provisions concerning any ‘business interest’ of a police officer. Police officers may also choose to disclose business interests of spouses or partners.
All police officers business interests are granted by the Chief Constable, which are based on their own particular circumstances and review dates are similarly set (based on individual).
Legislatively, the term ‘business interests’ covers a variety of categories and directorships fall within this. While a member of police staff is not legislatively required to declare business interests/secondary employment, contracts of employment can outline constraints on such activity.
For instance, some senior posts in Police Scotland are restricted; some politically, some commercially, some both.
Furthermore, the Anti-Corruption Policy includes putting in place procedures that support the identification of risks that business interests or secondary employment may pose to the organisation or individual.
An earlier Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland revealed certain business interests of the force’s top cops, :
For Chief Officers, this permission is granted (under Regulation 5 of the Police Service of Scotland Regulations 2013) by the Police Authority. The conditions and circumstances are outlined in this legislation which is available online, therefore section 25(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 applies: information which the applicant can reasonably obtain other than by requesting it under section 1(1) is exempt information.
Information provided by Police Scotland revealed executive members (including the now resigned DCC Neil Richardson) business interests from 1 April 2014-31 March 2015.
Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick: Property letting, Member and Trustee of various Charitable Organisations
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson: Property letting, Board Member for Scottish Institute of Policy Research Trustee/Vice President of various Police Associations
Journalists then requested further details from Police Scotland in a request for review of the FOI disclosure, requesting the organisations referenced in the initial disclosure be identified.
The subsequent response from Police Scotland revealed:
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson: Trustee, The Police Treatment Centres charity; Vice President, Police Mutual Board Member; The Scottish Institute for Policing Research.
Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick: Member, Scottish Chief Police Officers Association; Trustee, The Rank Foundation (Charitable Organisation); Trustee, Salle Ossian Community Sports Club (Charitable Organisation); Advisory Panel Member, Dfuse (Charitable Organisation; Patron, Revolving Doors (Charitable Organisation)
In relation to the numbers of properties rented out by senior Police Officers, Police Scotland refused to release details on the numbers of properties.
Police Scotland said in their response to the Freedom of Information request: “In relation to the number of properties relating to each Deputy Chief Constable, I have decided not to provide this level of information requested by you as it is considered to be exempt in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act).”
“The number of properties which the respective Deputy Chief Constables hold as business interests is classed as personal information and as such Police Scotland believes that the disclosure of this information would cause unwarranted prejudice to the rights and freedoms and legitimate interests of the data subjects. Accordingly, release of this information into the public domain would breach the requirement to process personal data fairly, as laid down by the first data protection principle in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is an absolute exemption and does not require the application of the public interest test”“
Police Scotland also refused to provide any values for the properties rented out by senior Police Officers, claiming the force did not hold the information:
Police Scotland said in their response: “Finally, Police Scotland does not hold details on the value of each property, as there is no requirement to do so under Regulation 5 of the Police Service of Scotland Regulations 2013.”
In comparison to the Police Scotland disclosure – members of Scotland’s 700 plus strong judiciary – who take the ultimate decisions on the results of Police detection of crime – do not share any details on their outside interests save a handful of judges who serve on the ruling Board of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).
COPS DECLARE, JUDGES CONCEAL:
Members of Scotland’s judiciary continue to wage a bitter five year campaign against proposals to require members of Scotland’s judiciary to declare their interests, and links to big business.
The salary scales of officers in Police Scotland – where all officers are required to declare their interests – show a Police Scotland constable can expect £24,204 per annum going up to £83,925 for a Chief Superintendent with 3 years experience to Assistant Chief Constables: £115,000, Deputy Chief Constables: £169,600 and the Chief Constable: £212,280
However – Scotland;s judges have no such requirement to declare interests, despite their huge judicial salaries skyrocketing from Sheriffs on £144,172 a year up to Sheriff Principals on £155,706 a year while judges of the Outer House of the Court of Session earn £179,768 a year, Inner House judges earning £204,695. The Lord Justice Clerk (currently Lady Dorrian) earns £215,695 a year, and the Lord President (currently Lord Carloway, aka Colin Sutherland) earns £222,862 a year.
The proposal to bring greater transparency to Scotland’s judiciary – Petition PE1458: Register of Interests for members of Scotland’s judiciary – first debated at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee in January 2013 – calls for the creation of a publicly available register of judicial interests – containing information on judges’ backgrounds, figures relating to personal wealth, undeclared earnings, business & family connections inside & outside of the legal profession, membership of organisations, property and land, offshore investments, hospitality, details on recusals and other information routinely lodged in registers of interest across all walks of public life in the UK and around the world.
A full debate on the proposal to require judges to declare their interests was held at the Scottish Parliament on 9 October 2014 – ending in a motion calling on the Scottish Government to create a register of judicial interests. The motion was overwhelmingly supported by MSPs from all political parties.
Previous articles on the lack of transparency within Scotland’s judiciary, investigations by Diary of Injustice including reports from the Sunday Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers, and video footage of debates at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee can be found here : A Register of Interests for Scotland’s Judiciary.