The Scottish Police Federation represents all police officers in the ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector, police cadets and special constables; over 18,500 people, 98% of all police officers in Scotland.
Private maternity facilities have been installed at several stations in G Division to help make the return to work for new mothers more comfortable.
The rooms have been completed at stations in Kirkintilloch, Shettleston, Cathcart and Drumchapel, which are now open for officers to use.
Work is continuing at Govan, Baird Street and Stewart Street police stations with the hope of having them completed by September.
Scottish Police Federation rep Chris Thomson, who works in G division, made an application to charity Police Care UK to help kit out the seven designated rooms.
He was successful and the funds were used to purchase suitable furniture which will hopefully help make the return to work for maternity/breastfeeding officers easier.
Greater Glasgow Division added the finishing touches by supplying the paint for the walls.
Sergeant Thomson said: “The return to work for new mothers can be difficult because they can be off for quite a long period of time, potentially up to a year.
“It can also bring some issues, particularly if they’ve been unwell when they’ve been on maternity leave.
“Also, whilst nearing the end of their pregnancy, working can be particularly challenging and tiring for female officers so we hope these rooms will help support our officers to be comfortable at work for as long as possible.
“Some officers come back when they are still breastfeeding so they’ve obviously got to express milk while at work to then take it home.
“There are allowances for that but there was absolutely nothing set in place for that.
“A lot of the time, officers were coming back and there was just no facilities for them to be able to express. The only place private was the toilets for them to use.
“Police Care UK is an amazing charity and I became aware of a welfare fund that they had for all over the UK.
“All you have to do is put an application in to get money. So I had an idea that wouldn’t need a lot of money.
“All we needed was seven rooms set aside by the division.
“I put together the application and Police Care UK approved it so they supplied the furniture. “The paint was paid for by the division, so it was a joint effort.
“They’re not big fancy rooms. This was an easy fix. It didn’t take a lot of work, it was a relatively small amount of money but the difference it will make is huge.
“Often I feel we try and focus on the big problems which take longer and more difficult to fix.”
He added: “The rooms can be used sensibly by other people who may need a quiet, private space for certain medical conditions too.
“This will be communicated to officers in the division, particularly supervisors, so we can increase their knowledge in risk assessments for pregnant officers at the same time.
“We want it to be there for its primary use but understand they can be used sensibly.
“The divisional reps will inspect the rooms monthly to make sure there aren’t any issues and that they’re not being misused.
“If this is successful then there is no reason other divisions cannot replicate the facilities.”
Assaults on police officers in Scotland have hit a five-year high with more than 1600 attacked in just three months.
Police Scotland have reported a 10 percent increase in the number of assaults on cops between April and June compared to the same period last year.
A total of 1498 attacks on officers were recorded last year but this rose to 1649 in the first quarter of 2019.
The latest figures also showed a massive increase in the number of violent attacks in the west command area of Scotland with a rise of 22.1 percent.
A total of 845 assaults were recorded during the three month period last year but this rose to 1032 this year.
Almost half of the attacks from the west took place in the Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow police divisions.
Saturdays were found to be the peak day for assaults, particularly between 8pm and 1am.
While the number of police assaults recorded fell for the north and east area, by 12.6 and 1.2 percent respectively, the overall figures for attacks on cops still showed a significant rise.
The figures also showed that assaults on Scottish emergency workers continue to increase and have gone up by 8.7 percent to 1929 this year.
A report detailing the latest figures will be presented at a board meeting of the Scottish Police Authority on Wednesday.
Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said that officers were regularly being targeted by armed individuals.
He said: “These figures simply tell us what police officers have known for some time – that is that instances and levels of violence they face is increasing and doing so exponentially.
“As more police officers are assaulted, the levels of the injuries they sustain are also increasing in severity.
“Encountering criminals with knives and other weapons is a daily occurrence and yet politicians continue to make cheap political points over officers’ safety equipment while our colleagues get maimed and injured with increasing regularity.”
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “Our officers find themselves dealing with dangerous situations on a daily basis to protect the people and communities we serve and are trained to a high level to deal with violent and confrontational situations.
“But being assaulted is not simply part of the job.
“No assault on a police officer can ever be tolerated and Police Scotland has a legal and a moral duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our people.
“Each assault will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public and the best evidence secured to support prosecution.
“We are considering new ways, including taking learning from elsewhere in the UK, to ensure we provide the best support to our people.”
After the success of Channel 5’s Police Code Zero: Officers Under Attack, they will be back for a second series and are looking for police officers to share their story and raise awareness of the assault’s officers deal with every day.
The production company are looking for incidents that have been caught on camera when officers have come under attack and have put out a radio call for urgent assistance.
Any officer who would be interested in taking part should seek permission from Police Scotland before applying.
If you wish us to pass your details to the production company you can do so through this form
Police officer left unable to hold her baby after being smacked around the head up to 30 times by violent thug
A brave police officer was left unable to hold her baby daughter after a violent thug battered her around the head up to thirty times.
PC Alison Laughlan had been responding to a street brawl in Maple Drive, Johnstone, on March 31 when Adam McManus launched the assault.
As the officer attempted to arrest the 26-year-old, who had already assaulted two of his neighbours in front of a child, he broke free and unleashed a vicious attack on her and her colleagues.
She was beaten around the head multiple times by the construction worker, who had a handcuff attached to one wrist.
Despite being hit with a baton and sprayed with Pava, McManus continued to fight officers and rugby tackled PC Laughlan before spitting in her face.
The vicious thug has now been jailed for three years after admitting four charges against him at Paisley Sheriff Court including assault to severe injury on PC Laughlan.
During sentencing, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew said: “Blows to the head, whether by punch or kick, can unfortunately be fatal.
“That they were not in this case was fortunate but you gave no thought to that.
“When the police arrived, your behaviour did not stop. If anything, it escalated.”
He also ordered McManus be placed under 12 month supervision following his release from prison due to the risk of harm he poses to the public.
A custody inspector has welcomed the addition of a designated wellbeing room at the divisional headquarters on West Bell Street, Dundee.
Inspector Marc Lorente, who is also a Scottish Police Federation rep, applied to have the relaxing space installed through the charity Police Care UK.
After the application was granted, the charitable organisation set about sprucing up the room within the custody unit.
They supplied all the furniture, including a sofa bed, which will allow custody officers and support staff to “recharge their batteries” during breaks on their shift.
Inspector Lorente said: “Back at the beginning of the year, we had an input from the Police Care UK charity at a federation meeting.
“They basically told us what they could do to help the police family, including support staff, and that they were also funding wellbeing rooms.
“If anyone wanted to be considered for one, all they had to do was put in an application for it.
“I’m the custody Inspector in Dundee, where there is a total of 50 members of staff, and it’s a pretty stressful job for both support staff and police officers.
“So I put an application in and it was successful.
“The charity supplied all the goods and all they asked was to be given a room that was at least 2.5 x 2.5 metres with a black out blind fitted.
“They provided everything from the shelving unit to a sofa bed, the chair, soft furnishings, rubber plants, mood lighting and a lava lamps and a Bluetooth stereo system with a cordless headset.
“The feedback from the staff has been excellent and they are very happy with it. (more…)
Three Scottish Police Federation reps have taken part in a 180 mile cycling challenge through the Western Isles to raise money for local charities.
James Thomson, Gordon Milne and Neil Cameron donned their lycra at the start line in the Butt of Lewis on July 10.
The trio were part of a 50 strong group of riders, including other representatives from the emergency services, who completed the three day ride which finished in Barra.
As there are no SPF reps based on the islands, the group decided to pay visits to all the police stations on the route including Stornoway, Tarbet, Lochmaddy and Balivanich.
They used the opportunity to listen to any concerns or comments police officers on the islands had about the challenges and benefits of rural policing.
James Thomson, deputy secretary of the SPF north area committee, said: “The morale seems pretty high amongst the troops, there are a lot of young in service officers just simply getting on with it.
“Lone working has its own challenges, however all we spoke with were really keen and enthusiastic about their community.
“I was surprised at the number of ‘incomers’ who aren’t originally from the local area but who had chosen to move there to be police officers.
“They have fully embraced island life which is completely different to life on the mainland, which is wonderful to see.
“There are unique challenges that the officers face on the islands but resourcing, being allowed away for training and days off here or there can be a bit of a struggle due to the uniqueness of the role and logistics.
“If you’re working on your own on an island, who provides the cover?
“The offices we went into were in good condition and the vehicles seemed to be in good working order. I was also really impressed with the officers when speaking to them.
“They were really engaging, helpful and their general concerns are they don’t want to be forgotten about due to working in remote locations.
“They’re really keen for the SPF to support and visit them to listen to their concerns and they appeared to be really pleased to see a Full Time Office Bearer. “
He added: “I fully anticipate going back to visit more police officers in the community to get a better picture and understanding of what policing in the islands is like and what challenges they face and also replicate this across the North.
“It was all local people that we did the cycle with and some who were originally from the islands but came back to do it. There were all different ages and abilities as well.
“The oldest person was 68, he completed the journey on his mountain bike which was really impressive.
“It was amazing to see so many different people come together to raise money for local charities.
“At the last count, they were sitting at £17,000 raised or thereabouts. It was a terrific way to spend my annual leave.”
The charities chosen to benefit from this year’s Butt to Barra cycle are Crossroads Lewis, the Bethesda Hospital and the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group.
A team of Forth Valley officers are set to tackle the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge in tribute to a much-loved colleague who is battling cancer.
The nine intrepid explorers aim to scale the UK’s three highest mountains within just 24 hours during their mission next month.
The officers were inspired to raise vital funds for Maggie’s Forth Valley after discovery that now-retired Sergeant Cameron Shanks had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer.
Despite being given a life expectancy of just six to 10 months, Cameron, known as Cammy, has remained positive and is being supported by the lifeline charity.
He said: “I have turned to Maggie’s for the help and support that I need, and I have to say, words do not describe how much their support helps to both me and my family.”
The father-of-four, who has more than 30 years service with the force, began his policing career as cadet before moving to join the dog unit.
After his retirement, Cammy spent the next 12 years training and developing new recruits at Scotland’s Police College at Tulliallan.
He is married to wife Claire and recently welcomed his granddaughter Emily into the world.
The retired sergeant is also well known within the local community for his DJ skills.
After being moved by their well-respected colleague’s health battle, the team decided to take on their own challenge to help raise funds for the charity.
The hike will begin on August 17 at the base of Ben Nevis near Fort William, where they will climb and descend the Munro.
They will then travel through the night to reach and climb Scafell Pike in the Lake District before heading off to tackle Snowdon in Wales.
All going well, the team hopes to complete the challenge at around midday on August 18.
All funds raised will be given to Maggie’s Forth Valley to help them continue to offer their support to people diagnosed with cancer.
The team have also issued their heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors who have made the challenge possible.
To donate, please visit their JustGiving page.