Seven police officers reported over criminality claims

Police watchdogs have submitted four separate reports to the Crown Office.

An investigation into allegations of criminality involving a group of Police Scotland officers in Moray has concluded.

Police watchdogs have submitted four separate reports to the Crown Office containing criminal allegations against seven officers of various ranks.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), headed by lawyer Michelle Macleod, spent 15 months probing the claims which are mostly centred around the town of Forres.

Their investigation began in February 2019 and the reports are now under consideration by the Crown’s Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division.

Many of the accusations relate to a group of male officers nicknamed the ‘Boys’ Club’. Last year, STV News revealed that some officers were accused of bullying and intimidating male and female police and civilian colleagues.

A key part of PIRC’s investigation related to Police Scotland’s alleged failure to properly investigate some of the allegations.

Former assistant chief constable Angela Wilson, who championed sexual equality during her career, said: “I’m pleased to see that PIRC have now submitted these reports to the Crown Office. I just hope that the Crown now do the right thing and deal with this without any further delay.

“If other victims can see that things will be dealt with properly, it gives them the confidence to speak out.”

One female constable alleged that she was bullied by the Boys’ Club after accusing her police officer ex-partner of violence and that her claims were not properly investigated.

She has now lodged an employment tribunal claim against Police Scotland.

A legal order is in place banning the reporting of the names of the officer and other officers named in her claim.

The officer’s lawyer Mark Allison said: “Proceedings are ongoing and relate to allegations of serious and sustained victimisation by a number of senior police officers in the Moray area.”

Police Scotland said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the case.

In response to PIRC’s reports, they said: “Following the conclusion of all PIRC and Crown-related inquiries, Police Scotland will address any outstanding conduct complaints.

“The vast majority of our officers and staff conduct themselves with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. Any allegation of misconduct is thoroughly investigated.”

PIRC said: “We were instructed by the Crown Office to investigate allegations of potential criminality against officers of Police Scotland.

“Our investigation into this matter is concluded and our findings were submitted to the COPFS in April 2020 for their consideration.”

The Crown Office said: “The reports we received from PIRC are under consideration.”

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