Monday 11 August 2014

Police complaint update

Dear all

First (Glasgow) Complaint
In the last post we gave you the police response to our complaint regarding the events surrounding our protest at SNP Spring conference in Aberdeen on Saturday 12th April.   Effectively they dismissed all aspects of our complaint.  We then referred the matter to the Police Investigations Review Committee.

PIRC wrote to Police Service of Scotland and asked for all the papers so they could conduct their review.  The Professional Standards Department of Police Scotland contacted us to say that having looked at it again they could identify some gaps or deficiencies in their response and would we be willing to let them look at it again.  Being reasonable people, we agreed to that and this process is taking place now.  We look forward to hearing from them in this regard and we'll keep you posted.

Second (Glasgow) Complaint
This complaint, which relates to the interference by the Licensing Division of the PSS based at London Road, Glasgow into an event which FAC was organising is currently being investigated.

An FoI request associated with the complaint which sought to get to the bottom of who instructed this interference and how they came to know about an event which was not publicised has been submitted and a response received.  The response cited 3 separate reasons for not providing the 3 pieces of information we requested.  A review has now been requested and we will keep you posted about that too.

A complaint to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal has been submitted today to try to ascertain if the police are intercepting the calls of at least one FAC organiser and whether this is how they obtained information relating to the events behind both the first and second (Glasgow) complaints.

Aberdeen complaint
We have no update on this at this point.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Response to our complaint against the Police re SNP Conference Protest

Dear all

Yesterday we received a response to our complaint.  Timely, since we had just submitted a second complaint about Police Service of Scotland interference in the affairs of FAC (about which more tomorrow).

I am copying the response below.  We will add no commentary at this point as the gaps and flaw in this response are fairly obvious but also because we will be sending a note of our dissatisfaction to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) shortly and we will keep our powder dry till then (note to officer who monitors our social media output:  this is a colloquial expression in standard English usage and does not constitute 'intelligence' that we are planning to use explosives at some future date).

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Police Complaint Update: 7 July 2014

Just to let you all know that we have not yet received a formal written response to our complaint regarding the policing of the FAC protest at the SNP Spring conference in Aberdeen in April (see earlier posts for details).

The officer charged with investigating the complaint did attempt to give a verbal update but I curtailed the conversation when it became clear that he was happy to tell me things that were frankly implausible.  Well, maybe happy is not the correct word, willing is probably the more accurate way to describe it.

We were informed that the report would be completed around 25th June and that a senior officer would issue a written response to me.  So far, no response has been received, but I will inform you all when one arrives!

In the meantime, a complaint being progressed by my MSP has elicited a response from Chief Constable House of the Police Service of Scotland in which he denies knowing we were followed (a fact already admitted by the complaint investigation officer!); claims we were planning to march from McDonalds with a group of around 200 to the AECC that day (chance would have been a fine thing) and that this was why the Section 12 Notice was issued; and when asked if Police Scotland had any contact with anyone representing the SNP prior to the decision being taken to issue a Section 12 Notice, replied that 'Chief Inspector Topping' had had no such contact.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this was not the question asked but most of you will not know that at the point the Section 12 Notice was issued, all 19 of us were already at the AECC so whatever he was trying to do, it was not preventing a 'march' from McDonalds to the AECC since we had already arrived!

One further point, we have yet more evidence of Police Service of Scotland interference in FAC activities.......more of that later - once we have submitted the relevant official complaint!

Saturday 7 June 2014

Police Complaint Update: 7 June 2014

The officer investigating the complaint has now spoken to some more of the protesting FACers from the SNP Conference protest and informs me that:

I anticipate being in a position to phone you and provide you with an initial verbal update next week and as previously stated you will receive the written formal response after that.

He has also confirmed that the car following our bus from Glasgow was a police car and that he has spoken to the officers in the car.

So hopefully very soon we will get some kind of explanation of what happened.....or we won't in which case we will need to take it further!

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Police Complaint update: 19/20 May 2014

I have copied below the exchange of emails which took place yesterday and today with some personal details redacted - please read from the bottom:

Dear Sergeant Brown
What I hope to achieve from the process is to find out the following:
  1. Who made the decision to have us followed and why.
  2. Who made the decision to issue us with a Section 12 Notice and why.
  3. Whether or not any third party external to the PSS contributed to this decision.
I hope to receive a full explanation and as a resolution I would like someone to acknowledge that the policing of our group was excessive, intimidating, unnecessary and will not be repeated in similar circumstances.
Yours sincerely

Many thanks Jeanette and I will keep you updated throughout.

The one point, I forgot to address with you on the phone yesterday is to capture your expectations with our complaints process.

When completing any Complaint About The Police, I feel it of benefit to ascertain from the individual who lodges complaint, what they hope to come from the complaints process or what they believe a suitable resolution would be.

Therefore, if possible could you be please respond by email as to your thoughts on this point please.

Kind Regards

Andy Brown
Sergeant 8664
Aberdeen City Division Service Delivery Unit  

Dear Sergeant Brown

The names of the three people who wish to make this complaint are as follows:


  1. Both Ms xxxxxxx and Mr xxxxxx are happy to be contacted by telephone but Mr xxxxxx would prefer not to speak on the phone.  He would be happy, however, to provide a written statement if you wish.  Please let me know.
  2. Ms xxxxxxxxx will provide the registration mark of the car which followed us as she noted it down at the time.
  3. I can confirm that the email exchange in the days leading up to the event was with Inspector Doug Rae.   I had a phone conversation on the Friday and Saturday with another officer whose name I cannot recall.  Inspector Rae had previously asked for my permission to pass my contact number on to the other officer, so he will be able to confirm that officer’s name.
  4. The name of the local man who has also lodged a complaint is xxxxxxxxxx

I hope that this is sufficient and I look forward to hearing from you further.

Yours sincerely


Dear Ms Findlay,

Please see below my contact details.  The telephone number if required, is a direct dial and whilst I have an answer machine, you can also get a message to myself on the 101 number - whichever is most convenient for you.

I have discovered, after our earlier telephone conversation, that you sent an email to Police Scotland querying when someone would be in touch.  I was not aware of this when we spoke and I apologise for this delay, albeit as explained on the phone, the Complaint took some time to end up with myself.  Now that we have spoken and I have provided you my own contact details, I will ensure I keep you updated throughout my enquiries and the Complaint process.

At any stage if you require to discuss anything, please feel free to make contact direct with me and I will do my best to answer any query you may have.

Following on from out telephone conversation of this morning, if you could please provide me with the following information which will assist the enquiry into your complaint -

1.    The registration mark of the unmarked Police vehicle which followed your bus.
2.    The names of the other individuals who wish to make complaint and confirmation they are happy for me to make contact with each of them.
3.    Confirmation that the Officer you had contact with in the days previous to the protest was an Inspector Doug Rae ?
4.    The surname of the local male, who has complained regarding the manner in which he was dealt with whilst driving home from the event.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course


Andy Brown
Sergeant 8664
Aberdeen City Division Service Delivery Unit 

Monday 19 May 2014

Police complaint update: 19/5/14

Glasgow complaint

This morning I was contacted by telephone by a Sgt Brown from Aberdeen City Police division of the Police Service of Scotland.  He explained that the delay in responding to my complaint had arisen because there had been some discussion around which division would deal with it - Glasgow or Aberdeen.  It had now reached his desk and he would make the initial investigations.  He outlined the process but indicated that, in this case, it might be slightly different, since, to paraphrase him, the decisions in this case had clearly been made by senior officers and complaints have to be assessed by someone at least one rank above the officer in question so he was not sure where that would go.  I resisted the temptation to ask him who was one rank above Stephen House....

Anyway, he took all the details of the complaint, most of which he had, and clarified some issues with me.  I remembered some details while I spoke to him such as the fact that we had been filmed by police officers from inside the building and I advised him that three other protesters wished to complain along with me.

He indicated that he did not think that Aberdeen police would have asked for our bus to be followed and, as an aside, said he thought it this was surveillance, they hadn't made a very good job of it since we had spotted them!

He agreed to email me so that I could reply giving some additional details and, when asked, said that their timescale for responding is 56 days but that he would try to complete his investigations sooner.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Complaint to Aberdeen police re SNP Protest

This is the account of a FAC supporter who was stopped by the police on his way home from the protest and who has lodged a formal complaint:  this will be referred to hereafter as the Aberdeen complaint to distinguish it from the complaint lodged in Glasgow

I attended the local police headquarters to formally make a complaint about the "routine" stop and how the officer spoke to me .My friend who is studying law came with me to advise and to witness the complaint and took notes during the meeting.

The inspector took down my full complaint in writing and I signed it.  He also read the information my witness had made and signed to verify it was a true and accurate record.

I was then informed he would investigate the complaint and get back to me in due course with his findings.  He also said the complaint may well be passed to a independent board for consideration.

I allowed 21 days to pass as thought was fair amount of time to allow police to do what needed and I then contacted them for a update.  I was told the "officer who is dealing with it is on holiday " I asked if anyone else could deal with it and asked when the officer was due back as I'd like a update

 I was told only he can deal with the complaint and that it was not 'information you require' regarding a officers annual leave!  At that point I thanked him and left.

I am very unsatisfied by how whole thing has been handled and I'm going to take further legal advice on this matter.  I will,  of course, keep you updated as things progress

I would like to thank all those involved with Fans Against Criminalisation & Celtic Trust for their continued support also to everyone else who sent messages of support

We must stand as one until the Offensive Behaviour Act is scrapped and this needs to be done immediately.

We are Fans not Criminals