Strathclyde Police issued an extarordinary statement today in relation to the complaint made by Chris White, the dad whose Boycott Braehead Facebook page, set up in response to the fuss the authorities made over his photograph of his 4 year old, attracted 24000 fans in a day.
Braehead Shopping Centre's owners eventually saw how stupid their no photography policy was and changed it in response to the global outcry at its actions.
The Police, however, are giving no ground. I wrote yesterday about how the Police Federation Chair made a prat of himself on Newsnight Scotland. Today their statement says that no crime was committed but what they did was right - in a very turgid statement. It suggests that there was more to this than meets the eye but doesn't tell us what. It doesn't address the concern that Chris White raised about his daughter being distressed and getting told off by the Police Officer for comforting her.
It strikes me that the Police just can't take being challenged. But this raises more concerns over the SNP Government's plans for a single police force. Strathclyde Police's attitude to Chris White signifies a pretty unpleasant culture and they are the biggest force we have. I don't want that culture pervading through the rest of Scotland - and it's fairly inevitable that Strathclyde will see the process as a takeover than a merger. And of course it highlights Willie Rennie's concerns about the complaints process. If we have one force, who deals with complaints against it? I think this incident shows that Strathclyde Police are a bit lacking in the people skills department. I don't want complaints being dealt with in the same cursory manner across Scotland once the SNP bulldozer votes this bonkers proposal through.