Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Police Cannot be Trusted With Internet Connection Records

Part of the controversial Snoopers' Charter that the government has been trying to steamroller through parliament is the use of Internet Connection Records (ICR's).

The police are particularly keen to obtain ICR's because they track your every move online, they log the websites you visit, reveal your billing data, your usernames, your passwords, your location data and much, much more.

Strange thing is, our security services have said they don’t need ICR's because they already obtain all the data they need about you in other ways.

So it's quite clear. This new 'power' is nothing to do with catching bad guys. Its' intention is purely to monitor innocent citizens.

So why on earth do the police want to monitor innocent citizens?

Easy.

Police need to arrest as many people as possible in order to make it look like they're doing a good job, justify their budget, and stay in a job. But getting convictions against innocent members of the public who haven't done anything wrong is a really tricky thing for them to do.

So they employ a technique called 'bundling'.

It entails scraping together as many little things as they can, for example, a few parking fines, maybe a drunk and disorderly arrest when you were a teenager etc and 'bundle' them all together to paint a picture of you as a bit of a baddie. The idea is that this bundling of old stuff from yesteryear will hopefully add weight to the weak and flimsy false charge they're trying desperately to get you convicted of today.

That's why police need to collect as much information on innocent citizens as possible.

Then of course there's the other little things they don't want to tell you about ICR's (but I will).

You see, criminals - and I mean real criminals, proper bad guys - know exactly how to use the internet anonymously. ICR's don't bother them, they know how to evade using them. So ICR's are only of use to police for collecting data on innocent members of the public, not criminals.

Then there's the issue of the security of your data.

It has been proven time and time again that the authorities cannot be trusted to keep our private and sensitive data safe.

Hackers are going to have a field-day with all your usernames, passwords, bank details, tax records.

Make no bones about it, the use of ICR's targets innocent members of the public and makes us less safe.

And that's exactly why no other Five Eyes nation collects ICR's and all who have tried to pass it in to law have failed.

But hey, that won't stop our untrustworthy police trying to get it passed in to law here in this country.

Just watch this space...

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Police Miss Evidence As Debris Is Found At M9 Crash Site

Is there no end to the incompetence and underhandedness of untrustworthy Police Scotland?

It would seem so.

The family of Lamara Bell - the young girl who died while lying in a crashed car on the M9 three days after it had been reported to police - visited the crash scene to lay flowers one year on from the accident.

And to their astonishment they found a number of car parts (i.e. evidence) at the scene.

Ms Bell's father Andrew told The Scottish Sun on Sunday: "I've picked up dozens of bits of plastic in undergrowth at the crash site - including a big chunk which looked like it could be a bumper attachment. There were also smaller pieces of plastic the same shade of blue as the Renault Clio."

I've said time and time again on this blog that you can bet your boots not one single one of the Police Scotland officers who were responsible for ignoring the crash call that led to this young woman's death will ever see the inside of a jail cell. The police involved will cover up for each other, they'll lie, they'll pass the buck, or have acute memory loss, go off sick with stress, quietly retire, or move departments or jobs.

And when the time comes for their buddies in the corrupt Crown office to make a decision on whether any police officers should be prosecuted for this debacle, police can rely on their Procurator Fiscal friends to trot out that well worn excuse for not taking action when they don't want to...insufficient evidence in law.

Of course it's always possible that leaving all that evidence at the crash scene was just another example of police doing their usual sloppy job. Indeed Ms Bell's father said "I would have hoped the police would have gone above and beyond to make sure their investigation was done right."

Is it really possible that police - who had initially found themselves under considerable criticism for their failed response to this incident - continued with that same sloppiness even when they eventually did get to the crash scene 3 days later?

It's possible.

It's also possible that untrustworthy Police Scotland and their buddies at the corrupt Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service were already busily pre-drafting a script, designed to deflect criticism for their failures, in readiness for it to be presented to the public at a later date.

And in that script my guess is it may just say something to the effect 'we are not taking any action against any of the police officers involved in the M9 tragedy because there is insufficient evidence in law to prosecute'.

After all, that's what they always do when they don't want to prosecute one of their own.

Of course the script will also include their usual 'template' style ending which always says that it all happened during a previous regime, lessons have been learned, the officers involved no longer work here, and processes have been put in place so that it can never happen again.

Yeah, you can just see it all stacking up.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14609745.Police_defend_search_at_M9_crash_site_after__debris__found/


Monday, 15 August 2016

The HSE And Crown Office's Dodgy Deal

I've been very suspicious of the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland, especially ever since they got together (just a wee bit too quickly for my liking) with their buddies in the Crown office and Police Scotland to prevent the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy being made a Health and Safety matter.

These organisations are incestuously connected and I firmly believe that the reason the HSE, the corrupt Crown office, and untrustworthy Police Scotland got together the very next day and conspired to treat the bin lorry incident as a road traffic accident, was to let their friends Glasgow Crooked City Council off the hook for employing the driver (GCC legislate for HSE so work closely together).

If it had been deemed to be a Health and Safety matter rather than a road traffic accident, the families of the six dead victims could have sued Glasgow Crooked City Council for employing the driver who killed their loved ones. But if it's a road traffic accident they can't. Nuff said.

Health and Safety is back in the news again as we learn that there has been a 49% rise in Scottish health and safety prosecutions.

Surely this is good news?

Well it would be if it wasn't for the fact that in the last 10 years there has been a general downward trend in the annual number of workplace incidents.

Mmmm. I don't like it when figures don't add up so I did some digging.

And it turns out that a few years ago, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service who prosecute on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland created a new Health and Safety Division with prosecutors who are specialists in health and safety cases.

Since its creation the number of Health and Safety prosecutions has increased. Now, that's not surprising considering that they are a specialised team of prosecutors who specialise in prosecuting Health and Safety matters.

But now we get to the real nitty gritty.

The financial penalties for Health and Safety breaches have been increased and new guidelines brought out in February say that companies can now be fined up to £10 million for a health and safety offence and up to £20 million for a corporate manslaughter conviction.

So now we get to the truth of the matter.

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service are working ever more closely with the Health and Safety Executive (as if they weren't before) to make as much money out of HSE prosecutions as possible.

So do you still think HSE, Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, and the Crown office all work separately from each other and never collude or conspire together?

Yeah, thought so.

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f16ecc5c-6ef8-413b-b089-13b8ce286298

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Police Refuse To Say How Much They've Squandered On i6

Untrustworthy Police Scotland's new super-duper £60 million IT system (i6) doesn't work and it has now finally been scrapped.

The private contractor they brought in to design the system, Accenture, have admitted that it could not be delivered on budget or on time.

This is hardly breaking news. 

The disaster that is i6 has been as plain as the nose on your face to everyone for a very long time now.

So why is it news today?

Because the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) have refused to say how much the failed system has cost them (and when they say cost them, what they really mean is cost us).

The CEO of the SPA, John Foley, says "The terms of the agreement are commercially confidential."

So there you have it. 

Police Scotland have wasted an unknown amount of our money on a £60 million IT system that doesn't work, never worked, and will never work, and we, the Scottish public, are not allowed to know exactly how much their fiasco has cost us as taxpayers.

All I can say is if they don't want to tell us how much of our money they have lost with this failed project, it must have been lot of money

An awful lot of money.






Saturday, 13 August 2016

Would He Have Got Away With It If He'd Worked For The Council?

Well I'm astounded, speechless in fact.

I have spoken at length on here about how councils are so in bed with the HSE, Police Scotland, and the Crown office that they fight over the duvet.

But I've just seen a news article about a bus driver who drove his bus - with passengers on board - through a flooded area. The bus got stuck and the driver was charged. He has now been found guilty of careless driving.

So have I been getting it all wrong up till now?

Do council drivers get prosecuted and found guilty in courts just like everyone else after all?

Should I get some salt for my hat because it looks like I'm gonna have to eat it?

Eh, not just yet.

On further investigation we see that the bus driver was not a council bus driver.

He was driving for Stagecoach, who are a private company.

So that's why he was prosecuted.

Phew, that was close.

And that explains it all now.

Because if he had been working for the council (who are the police and Crown office's best friend), it's unlikely he would ever have seen the inside of a court.

Don't get me wrong, bus drivers and bin lorry drivers who work for the council do commit crimes and they do find themselves in court from time to time.

It's just that when the crime is serious and the council could be sued for millions - like when someone lies to get the job then kills six people for example - that's when their buddies in the HSE, Police Scotland, and the Crown office leap in to action within hours to protect them and block any chance of prosecution.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-36963572


Friday, 12 August 2016

Ignore The Public At Your Peril

I've spoken before about the disaster that is the Scottish Government's Named Person Scheme.

It's a dangerous, intrusive, and unworkable piece of nanny state legislation that should never have seen the light of day.

And now we discover that it's unlawful too.

Who says so?

A panel of five judges at the Supreme Court say so.

They upheld a legal challenge to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and said that it was "incompatible with the rights of children, young persons and parents" under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

So that's it then is it? Has this Named Person nonsense finally been laid to rest?

Eh, no, not quite.

Because despite the Named Person Scheme being dangerous, intrusive, unworkable AND illegal, Scottish government  Education Secretary John Swinney has stated that the policy will still be implemented (once changes have been made).

OK, so let me get this correct.

The Scottish Government are elected by the people to represent the people and make laws to benefit the people.

The Scottish people tell the Government that they don't want this legislation AND the Supreme court tell the Government that their legislation is unlawful...but...

The Scottish Government still go ahead with it!

Liz Smith, the Conservative education spokeswoman has said that the scheme is "unworkable and unnecessary" and that "The Supreme Court has blown the named persons scheme out of the water and it's time that the SNP realised that it's time to stop pursuing it. Instead of arrogantly trying to push ahead, they should listen to the many voices who are saying that this policy is unworkable and unnecessary. Nicola Sturgeon needs to accept that she got this one wrong, and that it's time to put the best interests of families in Scotland before her own narrow-minded political agenda."

Well said Liz.

However the Scottish Government are not listening to you or anyone on this matter.

No problem though.

If the Scottish Government refuse to listen to the Scottish people, the Scottish people might just make them listen...at the next Holyrood elections.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

M9 Tragedy Vs Bin Lorry Tragedy

It has now been over a year since the M9 tragedy in which two people lay dead in a car - despite Police Scotland being alerted to the accident three days earlier.

The family are obviously distressed and distraught over how long it's taking for the investigations in to the tragedy to be revealed and they want answers now.

But it looks like they're going to have a long wait. A very long wait.

Because the Police Investigations and Reviews Commissioner have only just passed a second report to the Lord Advocate, who then has to decide if a fatal accident inquiry should be held or whether the option of criminal proceedings should be considered.

Then we have the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland who have been making their own investigations and reviews of procedures.

We've also got the Scottish Police Federation positioning themselves to deflect the criticism they know their members are going to be in for by bleating loudly about staff cuts that have been made to save £1 billion which is affecting policing (the idea being that the cuts will be blamed for why the tragedy happened).

And finally, good old Police Scotland themselves are getting in to position, ready to claim that they've responded to the 30 or so recommendations made by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and are doing ever so well now compared to how they operated before.

So there's a lot going on here and a lot of people jockeying for position before the families of the M9 tragedy are going to see any answers.

Yet curiously, that's not the way it was for the families of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

You may remember, the Crown office knew all the circumstances (yeah, right!) and came to a decision on the bin lorry tragedy just 33 hours after the tragedy happened.

So what does this tell us?

Well, it tells us that the Crown office can move fast and make decisions when it suits them and they want to.

It also tells us that there must be a reason why they've dragged out the M9 case for over a year but wrapped up the bin lorry case in a matter of hours.

In my opinion, the reason for the year long delay in the M9 case is that the people who messed up in the M9 case are Police Scotland. And they just happen to be very good friends and colleagues of the Crown office.

That's why this is taking so long.

The Crown office are giving their best buddies, the police, time to set up damage limitations and time to position themselves to deflect/reduce/minimise the blame for their mess up.

If you look at the reasons the Crown office have given for the delays, it should be clear to anyone that the Crown office are merely playing for time, waiting for their police friends who were involved in this debacle to retire or leave the force, and for call centres to be closed down or overhauled before they announce their decision to...ta da ra, drum roll please...do nothing.

Yip the corrupt Crown office will do nothing, mark my words.

The Crown office and Police Scotland want everyone involved in the M9 tragedy to be well out of the way before announcing their decision not to take action against anyone.

You can already see it all shaping up.

As soon as the coast is clear, they'll announce that it all happened under a previous regime, lessons have been learned, call centres and their operations have been changed and improved, and police procedures have been changed and improved.

Oh and I almost forgot - the usual finishing touches that the corrupt Crown office always end with:

"there is insufficient evidence in law to prosecute..."

and

"it's not in the public interest to prosecute..."

Trust me, not one single one of the Crown office's police buddies will ever get held accountable for those two deaths on the M9.

You just know that even the guy at the top of the Crown office, the new Lord Advocate James 'the big bad' Wolffe, is just itching to make a statement and tell us that this all of this happened under the previous regime of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and that it can never happen again under his new leadership etc.

Yip, no matter who's in charge, they all read from the same script.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/News/14594151.M9_victim__39_s_family_distress_over_probe_timescale/


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

How To Make A Case Go Up In Smoke

If you or I had our house raided by police and they caught us with fake foreign tax stamps, tobacco and cigarettes worth more than £7,000 in unpaid duty and VAT, more than 5,000 smuggled cigarettes, £1,740 in cash, 34.5kg of tobacco (enough to make 690 counterfeit pouches of hand rolling tobacco) and cellophane wrappers and heat sealers, what do you think would happen to us?

I'll tell you.

We'd be getting a stripey suntan in Barlinnie jail, that's what would happen to us.

Yet when police discovered just that in a raid, the corrupt Crown office decided not to proceed with the case.

Why?

Well we don't know.

All we know is that they used one of their usual phrases which they always trot out when they 'mysteriously' don't want to prosecute someone.

A Crown office spokesman said “Having considered all the circumstances of this case, the Crown has taken the view that it is not in the public interest to continue the prosecution.”

So there you have it: "not in the public interest"

And that's where it ends.

Yip, like it or lump it, the corrupt Crown office get to say who gets prosecuted and who doesn't.

Once again the Crown office have shown us that they are nothing more than a corrupt motley crew who act as judge and jury BEFORE anyone gets near a judge and jury - and no one but no one can question their decisions. End of.

I wonder if any of the Procurator Fiscals involved in this case are smokers?

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Crown Office Mental Health Issues

A new mental health initiative has been launched for members of the legal profession.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

Solicitors, procurator fiscals, Sheriffs, and all other members of the legal profession face exactly the same pressures and ailments as anyone else in any other industry or profession. Mental health issues are an increasingly recognised problem and need to be addressed across the board.

So I welcome this new initiative.

However I fear it'll be abused.

Just as untrustworthy Police Scotland officers are infamous for conveniently 'going off on the sick' with stress and anxiety after they've been caught-out being naughty boys and girls, you can bet your bottom dollar that the corrupt Crown office will also be jumping all over this same bandwagon too now.

You can almost write the script for this one.

Q. "Why did you deliberately hide evidence from the court Mr PF"?

A. "Oops, sorry, I didn't really mean to pervert the course of justice M'Lord - I just wasn't thinking straight - it's stress, it's anxiety, I've got mental health issues..."

http://www.lawscot.org.uk/news/2016/06/scottish-legal-profession-tackles-mental-health-issues/

Monday, 8 August 2016

Conspiracy Does Not Mean Wearing A Tinfoil Hat

I'm not a conspiracy theorist.

If you're looking for someone to wear a tin foil hat and help you look for aliens, I'm really not your man.

The only conspiracies that interest me are where officials in public organisations conspire with each other to cheat the public, no matter whether it be through some old boys type of network or just close colleagues and friends doing wee favours for each other.

These types of conspiracies happen every day and they cause very real and direct damage to members of the public.

Let's be blunt. We've all probably had a friend or a neighbour who has done us a wee favour. Perhaps it was an electrician popping round to your house at 8 o'clock one night to fix your fuse box using a bit of copper wire he got from the back of the works van. It happens. People do favours for each other every day.

And public bodies are no different.

The Crown office get the police to help them out when they need a wee hand to get a conviction. Police help councils out because they provide funding for extra police officers. Business owners get 'friendly' councillors to approve planning permissions and licensing applications. The list goes on and the connections go on.

Wherever there are human beings in public organisations, they conspire together and favours get done. It's a fact of life. It's also human nature so get used to it.

Sometimes I worry that readers who are new to this blog may wrongly think it as being written by some sort of conspiracy theorist. I worry that if I, or the information I post, is viewed as conspiracy theory that it may detract from its credibility and importance.

So I labour at length to assure my readers that what I write is truthful and accurate. Please do NOT take what I write with a pinch of salt, it's much too important for that.

Which brings me to todays story.

As you know, I often write about how our the public bodies are incestuously connected and why this is unhealthy. I also often say that a 5 year old could easily join the dots which map out how these organisations all work closely with each other and cover up for each other when required.

You may also remember that I said that ex solicitors and ex procurator fiscals take jobs with councils and then use their position as councillors to get themselves on committees and boards such as the Scottish Police Authority where they can then use their new job to influence decisions which favourably affect friends and colleagues in their old 'past life'.

Well let me (re)introduce to you the deputy chief constable Neil Richardson from Police Scotland. Or perhaps I should call him former deputy chief constable Neil Richardson.

In his old job as deputy chief constable of Police Scotland you may remember he was the top cop who was (and still is) up to his neck in the illegal spying on journalists scandal.

Well, we now discover that his retirement isn't exactly going to be spent tending to his begonias.

Because he has just been shortlisted to be the next £117,000-a-year chief executive of Inverclyde Council.

If he's successful and get's the job, he'll very quickly be known as simply Neil Richardson.

In the blink of an eye, the 'Deputy Chief Constable' bit will be dropped and will become but a distant memory.

And here's the problem.

If he gets the job, it won't be long until he, as chief executive of the council, starts taking decisions or sits on a committee or a board somewhere that has a connection to untrustworthy Police Scotland or the corrupt Crown office.

And when he does, his old job as a deputy chief constable will be conveniently forgotten and no conflict of interest will ever be flagged up.

And his buddies from his 'old life' will be giving him a wee bell to privately thank him for his help to them in his 'new life'.

Unless of course they already know beforehand that they can rely on him for his 'help'.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14556759.Controversial_police_chief_shortlisted_for_top_council_job/


UPDATE: HE DIDN'T GET THE JOB (HURRAH)!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

How To Avoid Arrest

It doesn't get any worse than this story.

An idiot goes in to the Accident & Emergency department of Ninewells hospital in Dundee at 1 O'clock in the morning and starts shouting and swearing at staff.

It gets so bad, the staff have to call police.

Now this isn't just some sedate ward or admin department in the hospital we're talking about where someone gets a bit vocal and out of hand.

This is the A&E department for goodness sake - a place where doctors and nurses are under immense pressure trying to save peoples lives.

They should not have had to put up with a stupid heid-case running around causing a rammie.

Lives were put at risk because of this guys behaviour.

So what do you think Police Scotland did?

Arrest him? After all they arrest members of the public every day for much, much less.

Nope.

They issued him a fixed penalty fine (which he didn't even pay).

In court, Sheriff Alastair Brown commented that the issue of a fine by police was "...extraordinary given the location of this offence. I have no idea what was going on in the head of the officer who decided to do that. People who behave in this way at A&E can expect a potential prison sentence."

Well said Sheriff Brown.

It does however beg the question why police let the guy off so lightly?

Perhaps the guy golfs at the same club as the cops who arrested him?

Perhaps he's a neighbour or went to school with one of the cops?

Perhaps he was an off-duty cop himself?

Who knows?

But what we do know is that it stinks to high heaven.

Because if untrustworthy Police Scotland passed up on the chance to make an arrest, you can bet there will definitely be some sort of sordid corrupt reason behind it.

The big wigs at Police Scotland are supposedly 'reviewing' the case so watch this space and I'll let you know what happens (if anything).

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/189459/prison-warning-man-angrily-accused-nurses-neglecting-patients/


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Police Scotland Are Just Like Their Crumbling Buildings

When the old regional police forces in Scotland handed over their reigns to the supposedly super-duper new central force Police Scotland, there was a bit of a stock taking that had to be done first.

Part of that stock taking was to survey the condition of the buildings and police stations that were being handed over.

And it turns out that dozens were (and still are) crumbling to bits and are in serious need of repair.

In fact 69 buildings across the country were rated as being C which is 'poor' or D which is 'bad' and they will need millions spent on them to bring them up to scratch.

One of the worst is the national police college at Tulliallan in Fife, which is also Police Scotland’s flagship corporate HQ. How embarrassing.

Some building have asbestos while others cannot utilise modern IT systems.

Many others are in questionable condition.

Many buildings were built in the Victorian era and are not fit for purpose and cannot meet the demands of a modern police service.

OK, so we can see clearly that it's not looking good.

But, just for one moment, let's look again at the above information and instead of using it to describe police buildings, let's try using it describe Police Scotland themselves.

And here's what you get:

Police Scotland is crumbling to bits and in serious need of repair.

Police Scotland has ratings of C which is 'poor' or D which is 'bad'.

Police Scotland need millions spent on them to bring them up to scratch.

Police Scotland cannot utilise modern IT systems.

Police Scotland are in questionable condition.

Police Scotland are from the Victorian era.

Police Scotland are not fit for purpose.

...and finally...

Police Scotland cannot meet the demands of a modern police service.

Phew!

You know that old saying about how people who are dog owners often look exactly like their dogs?

Who'd have thought that Police Scotland would be just like their buildings.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/dozens-of-crumbling-police-buildings-in-urgent-need-of-repair-1-4153827






Friday, 5 August 2016

This Blog Gets Results

If you are one of the thousands people who arrived at this blog because you typed a phrase in to a search engine and it just happened to bring you here, you could be forgiven for initially thinking this blog is just a bit of a benign vehicle for the author to vent his frustrations with Police Scotland and the Crown office (and a few others).

Regular readers however know that this blog is more than that.

Much, much more than that.

This blog gets results.

It changes peoples attitudes. It informs members of the public who have never been involved with the justice system what's really happening in the incestuously connected echelons of power. It exposes the corruption in our public organisations and gives a voice to those who do not have a voice.

And most importantly, it achieves change.

The latest success - I am delighted to report today - is that I, my army of readers, and thousands like us, have been able to help Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette, to persuade the UK Government to scrap their plans to water down the Freedom of Information Act.

And it has been achieved with only 43,085 signatures.

That's what I call a success!

But the struggle doesn't end there.

You could say that this is only the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

There is still a lot more work to be done.

Next, in order to encourage members of the public to step forward with their stories of corruption and wrongdoing - and to help us ensure their safety when they do come to us - we must put a halt to journalists, bloggers, and whistleblowers being put under state surveillance.

Journalistic sources and resources MUST be protected.

I wrote a couple of days ago about the Investigatory Powers Bill (commonly known as the snooper's charter) which is currently going through Parliament.

We urgently need it to be amended and we need you to help.

It's very important.

We are asking that it be amended so that the police must apply to a judge for an order to obtain journalistic material such as notebooks or video footage. At the moment, the state can secretly open up encrypted mobile devices, see our communications records (who called who, when and where), and turn a reporters mobile phone into a tool of surveillance.

Sources would be put at risk and journalists could be put in danger by being seen as proxy agents of the state.

All we are asking is that the same protection for journalistic activities, information and sources should apply in the digital world in the same way it does in the physical world and that the Investigatory Powers Bill be amended to include this.

Put simply, if the state want to use their surveillance powers to snoop in to a journalists activities, then it should be decided by a judge.

If you agree, please consider signing the petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-protect-journalistic-sources-from-state-surveillance

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Con

Ever heard of the phrase "The wheels of justice turn slowly"?

Not only is it true, but it's getting worse.

Everyone who frequents a court of law - lawyers, sheriffs, clerks, police officers, translators, yes even the criminals - will all attest that our justice system has two speeds - dead slow and stop.

Everybody, and I mean absolutely everybody, agrees that our courts are painfully slow. The only people who think that courts are run well and operated efficiently are the people who actually run and operate the courts.

Well they would wouldn't they.

So in a new report which can only be described as an insult to our intelligence, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) claim that almost all trials in Sheriff courts nowadays begin within 16 weeks. Up until now, only about half that number of trials managed to get before the beak within 16 weeks.

So there you have it - according to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service the speed of our courts has just doubled in the last year.

Amazing.

So why is no one - and I mean absolutely no one - seen this miraculous improvement in our courts?

Surely a 100% improvement would have been very noticeable by everyone involved in the court system?

The answer is very simple.

It's not true. There have been no improvements of any such kind whatsoever.

There has been no cut in waiting times for trials, no quicker processes, no increased productivity. Nothing.

The report is one complete and utter lie peddled by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. It's a PR stunt by the SCTS (paid for by the taxpayer by the way) to fiddle the figures and make it look like they're doing a good job.

And here's how they did it.

You see that waiting time average of '16 weeks' to get to trial does not include a number of extremely important figures. Figures so important that they completely change the average and therefore change the result.

For example, the figures don't include:

1. The rising number of cancelled or abandoned prosecutions.

Police arrest and charge hundreds of innocent members of the public every day (which they have to do to achieve targets). However Procurator Fiscals regularly abandon these cases because the police do not have sufficient evidence to prosecute (a lack of evidence is not surprising in cases involving innocent people who have done nothing wrong).

All of these dropped cases - which are often abandoned the day after arrest or during the intermediate diet stage of proceedings  - are counted towards this '16 weeks' figure.

2. The number of plea deals done.

You may remember I recently wrote about a lawyer from Wisconsin in the USA who was arrested while on holiday in Scotland. He had his arm twisted by the Crown office to plead guilty and take a £500 fine or else face a lengthy and costly trial which would also have required him to fly to and from the USA. It's not difficult to see why he was pretty much forced to take the 'Guilty+£500' deal with no option of putting his side of the story to a court. The point here is that this particular plea deal saw him arrested, charged, fined, and out the door in a matter of hours instead of there being a trial which would have dragged it out for months.

In other reported cases, the Procurator Fiscal has done dodgy deals with some of the biggest gangsters and drug dealers in Scotland because the length of trial and the cost of prosecuting far outweighs what the Crown expect to get back afterwards via the Proceeds Of Crime Act.

Cases such as these are counted in with the '16 week' figure so help bring the average down.

3. Number of secretive deals done with big business to pay quick civil fines to escape criminal justice.

I wrote recently about Scotland's new bribery act which permits companies to self-report cases of bribery to the Crown office and they will receive a fine for their wrongdoing instead of criminal charges. I also said at the time that the idea was a thinly disguised way for rich executives of large companies who discover they're about to get found out for bribery to side-step a criminal investigation by police (which would normally lead to a criminal prosecution and jail time for their crimes) to steer their criminal activities away from the criminal courts and over to the civil courts. In effect, it lets rich execs - who can easily afford to pay fines - escape jail.

It's not difficult to see that if you include a ton of abandoned, cancelled, plea bargained and quickie prosecutions in to your figures, the end average is obviously going to reduce and look far better than it really is.

Which is why absolutely no one in our courts is seeing this supposedly amazing increase in efficiency the SCTS are claiming in their report.

I like to look at it this way.  If 10 people say they like coffee and 10 people say they hate coffee, then 50% don't like coffee, right? But if you then exclude the 10 people who like coffee, you now have 100% of people who don't like coffee - oh, and you've just doubled the percentage of people who don't like coffee.

It's simple arithmetic. It's also smoke and mirrors, and it's a fraud.

So anyone who actually believes this ridiculous Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service report has their head so far in the sand their bum must be smiling at the sun.

And as for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, well, their heads should be hanging in shame.

http://scottishlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/court-speeding-court-reforms-hasten.html

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Police Will Keep You Safe But Only If You Pay Them

Have you ever been to the Garden Of Eden?

No, I'm not talking about the Garden of Eden mentioned in that most famous of books (the good book).

I'm talking about the Eden Festival, at Raehills down near Moffat.

I haven't been there yet but from all accounts it's a real treat and famous for it's great family atmosphere. They boast 9 different stages including a kids arena, a circus tent, and a drive in cinema.

No wonder it was shortlisted for the Best Family Festival award in the UK Festival Awards in 2014.

So what's the story with it this year?

Well last year Police Scotland charged the Eden Festival £11,000 to 'police' the weekend and keep the members of the public who attended it safe.

I'm not actually sure why police felt that they should charge anything at all to police it be honest with you - surely it's the job of Police Scotland to keep us and our families safe?

Anyway, fact of the matter is they did charge and £11,000 was the price - so I suppose it was cough up or shut up for the organisers.

The festival has been such a success every year that it is scheduled again for this year. So in anticipation, the charity organisers (because remember this is a charity organisation we're talking about here) dug deep in to their pockets again expecting the usual £11,000 bill from our boys in blue.

But to their horror, Police Scotland have told them there's been an increase...to £37,000.

Oh and they'd like half of it as a deposit up front too.

And there's more. If the organisers dont pay within seven days then they won't police the event at all and the organisers won't then get a licence.

Phew. That's what I call really putting the squeeze on someone. And a charity too. Shame on you Police Scotland.

Now, I'm pretty sure the last time I looked inflation was sitting at around, emm, let me see now, roughly zero per cent.

So how in the name of Adam have untrustworthy Police Scotland managed to come up with a 350% increase from last year?  The festival is exactly the same size as it was last year.

Does the fact that Police Scotland officers have awarded themselves £8 Million in bonuses in the last year just for turning up and doing their job got anything to do with it?

I don't know.

But I do know that the Eden Festival is a very reputable charitable organisation. In fact not only are they a Not For Profit Community Organisation, but not one single person takes a wage from the organisation either which is pretty darn good. That's what I call a real charity.

You just don't get more noble than that.

It's just a pity Police Scotland are not so charity minded.

Or as noble.

http://www.dng24.co.uk/festival-fee-blow/

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Unlocking And Interrogating A Locked iPhone

It was with great interest that I read recently about the FBI's fight with Apple over the unlocking of an iPhone they seized from a terrorist in the US.

The reason it sparked my interest was because I was able to unlock an iPhone which the police and Crown office had seized from me but had put in to a 'disabled' state before returning it to me.

Basically, someone, we still don't know who, in Police Scotland or the Crown office entered the wrong passcode too many times in to my iPhone which caused it to be locked locked for, well, I can't remember exactly how many 'millions' of minutes, but I do remember it equated to about 40 years or something crazy like that.

But I unlocked the iPhone.

I'll be quite frank with you here. Although I consider myself to be fairly technically minded, I'm not what you'd call a geeky computer whizz kid. So while I can assure you it wasn't easy to do, I'm also man enough to admit that it ultimately came down to, among other things, a half broken cable that only worked intermittently, an annoying glitch, and an unbelievably fortunate stroke of luck that brought them all together at the right time.

It was just one of those things - the stuff I did just merged together in a kinda perfect storm...and the iPhone unlocked.

Although I could easily do it again given the same circumstances (because I know exactly how it worked and why it worked - which is easy to know after the fact of course!), what I'm really saying to you is the Gods were smiling on me that day - I did get lucky - so don't expect to see me behind your local Apple store Genius bar any time soon!

The saga behind my iPhone and how it came to be locked is every bit as intriguing.

You see I had been a victim of a false accuser, an ex girlfriend, who was trying to squeeze money out of me, and had convinced police that they should arrest me.

They did. And they seized my iPhone which I had on me at the time. Standard procedure they say.

Anyway, at my interview, the police tried to intimidate me and goad me. They tried everything they could to make me 'fess up and admit to something I absolutely hadn't done - which if they'd bothered to investigate, they'd have known I was out of the country at the time - but I guess that's standard procedure for them too. Maybe this is just their way when they interview people - even innocent people.

One particular threat they made to me - which I assume was designed to supposedly make me 'confess' to the trumped up piece of none sense my ex girlfriend had peddled to them - was that police forensics could get in to my iPhone if they so wished.

My police interviewers kept pointing to my iPhone and told me they were going to extract all my information from it. Presumably this was supposed to make me start quacking in my boots.

How very wrong they were. Because I knew I was innocent and had done nothing wrong, so I wasn't perturbed in the least at the prospect of police forensics opening up my phone (which seemed to really annoy them).

Oh, and there was one other little thing which I knew but they didn't know at the time. You see I knew that the data (ie the text messages) contained on my iPhone would actually do just the opposite if they interrogated it - the data in my iPhone would actually prove my innocence!

Of course I couldn't tell the police any of this during the interview because I was under strict instructions from my solicitor to answer "no comment" to every question.

So I said nothing. And I was arrested and charged.

I plead not guilty (obviously), and a succession of trial dates were set in to motion by the court.

Eventually the Crown office who were prosecuting the case realised that I was completely innocent and had done nothing wrong and that the police had messed up big-time and should never have arrested me (and that I was actually the victim - my false accuser was the one who should've been arrested).

But by that time, they had invested so much time and money in mounting a case against me and taking me to trial, they felt they had to go through with it, even though they knew they were prosecuting an innocent man. That's just the way the police and Crown office work unfortunately.

The fact that I had also become a bit of a nuisance and a pain in the proverbial to them didn't help my situation either I'm sure. But hey, I talk to, and treat, everyone I speak to as an absolute equal and Procurator Fiscals are no different. However I quickly discovered they don't like you doing that - PF's see themselves as being some sort of a higher moral authority than everyone else. Members of the public are, I'm reliably informed, supposed to hold them in some sort of high esteem (whatever that's supposed to mean).

It's all none sense of course as most PF's are actually failed lawyers who know they could never 'cut it' in the outside world - that's why they opt for the lesser pay and the safety of working at the Crown office. The good pension helps too.

Although it's not entirely fair of me to tar all PF's with the same brush, it is however entirely fair to say that when you take an incompetent law graduate and put him in a position of authority in a place such as the Crown office, you get what you would expect. So it's not too difficult to imagine the type of characters I was having to deal with who call themselves procurator fiscals.

Never the less, the bottom line is they didn't like me because I refused to be subservient to them and would only communicate with them on an equal basis. Apparently you're supposed to communicate with them via a silly fabricated air of politically correct politeness that I just don't do I'm afraid.

OK, so I'll also admit that there were probably one or two occasions when I spoke down to Procurator Fiscals like they were children (I'm sorry, but that's the way the PF's were acting so I felt it completely deserving).

I know for a fact that this did not impress them or endear me to them one little bit.

So set against that background you can probably guess the way this case proceeded. The phrase 'on a hiding to nothing' is probably as good a description as any, and my God, believe me, that motley crew in the Crown office are seriously vindictive people!

Of course the Crown office are not supposed to purposely prosecute someone they know to be innocent. But face-saving and arrogance is a big part of the Crown office culture so they tend to stick like glue to decisions they take - even long after it has become obvious to everyone (including themselves) that they got it wrong.

Just think 'Glasgow bin lorry tragedy' and I don't really have to say any more - you get the idea.

Add to that an accused person who is insisting on defending himself (oh no!) and to whom they've taken a complete dislike (most of that being my own stupid fault by the way) and the stage was pretty much set for a disaster from all sides.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Calum Forsyth found himself in a very awkward position. He was under pressure (which he actually admitted) from his superiors to go to trial and prosecute this case. He had the unenviable job of having to prosecute a man he knew to be innocent - plus his superiors expected him to get a 'result'. No less would be acceptable to them.

So he did what all corrupt Procurator Fiscal do under those circumstances.

He tried to hide evidence.

He refused to hand over my iPhone to the defence because, by this time, he knew the 'evidence' on it proved my innocence.

Bet you didn't know Procurator Fiscal's did things like that eh?

You do now!

Calum Forsyth reckoned if he could just stop me getting the evidence that proved my innocence, he would be able to get a conviction. Job done.

Except it's illegal for the prosecution to hold back evidence (they call it withholding disclosure).

So I challenged Procurator Fiscal Calum Forsyth in court - without the aid of a lawyer and without me having any legal background whatsoever I might add - and I beat him. I won.

I'm sure it was very embarrassing for him to be beaten by a layman on his own turf and I suppose mildly amusing to the clerk and other lawyers milling around court that day. But at the same time the seriousness of corrupt PF Calum Forsyth's behaviour should not be trivialised.

You see, when I arrived at court that day, Forsyth approached me and told me we were going to trial today regardless of my position. He didn't ask me, he told me (such is the arrogance of the Crown office).

I knew different though.

The clerk shouted "all rise" and the Sheriff walked in.

The Sheriff asked the PF, Mr Forsyth, if he was ready to begin trial?

He affirmed - and also suggested that he felt I had caused unnecessary distractions and delays and the Crown would not tolerate any further delays. The trial must begin now.

The Sheriff then asked me if I was ready to begin trial.

But I said "No".

The sheriff asked me why?

I responded that the Procurator Fiscal, Mr Forsyth, was withholding disclosure from me - my iPhone - which I required for the preparation of my defence (a couple of key words I had lifted from article 6 of the human rights act). Sheriff's are smart, I didn't need to spell it out.

I also informed the Sheriff that I had repeatedly asked the Crown for the iPhone to be returned to me but they continually refused. I also added that the proof of my innocence in this case was contained in that phone.

The Sheriff then turned to Procurator Fiscal Calum Forsyth and asked if he would be using my iPhone as Crown production?

He answered "No".

Oh dear.

I've never seen a Sheriff so irate in my life. She banged the desk and ordered Forsyth to hand the iPhone over to me immediately.

Astonishingly he responded that he didn't know where it was. Perhaps the police had it. Maybe the Crown had. It was somewhere, but he wasn't sure where!

The Sheriff shouted at him at the top of her voice.

I'll never forget her words.

She said "FIND MR CAMPBELL'S PHONE, FIND IT NOW, AND GIVE IT BACK TO MR CAMPBELL IMMEDIATELY"

Forsyth then fumbled about for a couple of seconds and held up a piece of paper saying "I've got a [police] receipt with a reference number for the phone on it"?

The Sheriff banged the desk again and roared "WHAT GOOD IS A RECEIPT TO ME. FIND THAT PHONE AND GIVE IT TO MR CAMPBELL - HE NEEDS IT FOR HIS DEFENCE".

Now it would be great if the story could finish there with the phone being returned to me, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But it doesn't.

It get's worse.

You see the Crown were well aware that the contents of that iPhone would prove my innocence - after all that's why they went to such lengths to prevent me getting it. So when faced with a Sheriff ORDERING them to give it to me, there was only one option left for the Crown if they wanted to win this case.

Wipe the phone clean to erase all traces of the evidence on it before handing it back.

The result was that the Procurator Fiscal agreed to give the phone back to me, and I was instructed to go to Bellshill police station to pick it up, which I did.

But when I switched it on, it wouldn't allow me access - my iPhone had been disabled.

Turns out they had entered a succession of wrong passwords and caused the phone to lock up (which they knew would happen). The screen message said it was disabled and couldn't be opened for so many million minutes, which equated to about 40 years!

So this iPhone - which I'd fought so hard in court to get and which contained all the evidence that would prove my innocence - was now what's commonly know as a 'brick'. In other words, it was now completely useless.

Oh how they must have been rejoicing in the Crown office that day.

My heart sank. In fact it was worse than that. I genuinely felt almost suicidal - you know that way when your thoughts go to a very dark place and you find yourself having to talk yourself out of the idea. Horrible. It's as if my world had collapsed. Those people in the police and the Crown office will never know how I felt that day. They will never know what they did to me that day. Never.

I was distraught.

So distraught in fact that through my desperation I really wasn't thinking quite as straight as normal and made a couple of errors while trying to find a way to access the phone.

Those errors, combined with the things I did manage to do right (plus a stroke of luck) unlocked the iPhone!

And now the rest, as they say, is history.

My case went to trial and was thrown out of court (no case to answer) with Sheriff Douglas Brown commenting "Mr Campbell should never have been brought before a criminal court".

But my false accuser was never arrested or prosecuted.

The police who lied were never arrested or prosecuted.

The Procurator Fiscals who lied were never arrested or prosecuted.

The person or persons who disabled my iPhone were never found or arrested or prosecuted.

But on the plus side, I never ever told the police or the Crown office how I managed to unlock the iPhone - and I never will. Mark my words, they'll need me before I'll need them, I can assure you of that (and if and when they do need me, I may just politely remind them of what they did to me and show them the door).

Mind you, I could be persuaded, because the FBI are reported to have recently paid someone a figure somewhere in the region of $1 Million to unlock an iPhone for them!

Of course there's no guarantee that my unlock sequence would have worked on the FBI's iPhone anyway, but I have to say, for $1 Million I think I'd have happily done a deal with them on a 'no win no fee' basis and had a go at it just the same!

There's one final, and rather sinister side to this story before I end it.

You see, when two people text message each other - as my ex girlfriend and I did - there actually exists TWO sets of text messages. There's a set of text messages on each persons phone.

So the Crown office already had a duplicate set of all the same text messages which they had extracted from my ex girlfriends phone (which is why they knew the text messages on my phone would prove my innocence).

At the actual trial, the Crown tried to persuade the Sheriff that the prosecutions set of text messages should be used by the court for reference in the trial - which just happened to be a VERY abridged version of the messages with months of texts deleted and missing and many others 'cherry picked' to suit the prosecutions case. Honest to God, I'm not making this up!

Fortunately the Sheriff was having none of it.

My solicitor, who just happened to be an ex Procurator Fiscal and knew every dirty trick in the book the Crown were attempting to pull, stood up and requested that the Sheriff use the set of text messages from my iPhone - which was the full record of texts which showed the complete story of exactly what happened, what was really said, every single communication between my false accuser and I - all 360 of them.

And now... as they say....the rest is history.

An innocent man walked free from court that day but the Crown were not happy about it.

The Sheriff even shook his head in disbelief as Procurator Fiscal Calum Forsyth insisted he should be allowed to wheel in another two witnesses despite the case being clearly over and lost (two prosecution witnesses who's testimonies I should also mention ended up helping me, the defence even more)!

Astonishingly, he begged at the Sheriff, saying that he hadn't had time during the lunch break to write up a motion so asked if he could just bring in the next two witnesses as it would only take up a similar amount of time. Talk about clutching at straws!

Procurator Fiscal Calum Forsyth embarrassed himself in court that day.

He also embarrassed and disgraced himself completely throughout this whole sordid mess.

I'd be surprised if he's even still a Procurator Fiscal these days.

Calum Forsyth was fuming at the end of my trial. Fuming that he had failed to get a conviction against, what he saw as, an insolent upstart who was a constant thorn in his side, showed him little or no respect, and refused to know his place (which was firmly beneath a PF in his eyes).

An honest Procurator Fiscal, a man of substance, a man of integrity, would have been happy that an innocent man had been saved from prosecution.

But then again, an honest Procurator Fiscal, a man of substance and integrity, would never ever have tried to prosecute an innocent man in the first place or tried to hide vital evidence that he knew would prove his innocence.

The problem today is that there are far too many Calum Forsyth's in the Crown office and not enough Fiscals with honesty, substance, integrity and most of all, honour.

The problem tomorrow is that many of these Procurator Fiscals may end up being appointed as Sheriffs and Judges.

And that should be a serious, serious concern to us all.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Police IP Address 212.137.45.109

Police Scotland and their spying activities have caused major sensations in the press recently.

The fact that police have been doing the spying illegally makes these stories even bigger - it's a national scandal.

However Police Scotland spying is nothing new to me.

Police have been monitoring my communications and my websites - without the proper legal authorisation to do so I might add - for some years now.

I complained to police about it a couple of years ago but, as you would expect, they denied it...and then curiously asked "So, what have you found that makes you think we're spying on you"? Full marks to them for chancing their arm, but come on, it was a bit ambitious to think I'd tell them how I know so that they can just change tactics. Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

Anyway, the thing is, what I publish is not illegal so their spying is unlikely to get them very Far. Never the less, it's still a disgrace that they do it covertly and without the proper judicial permissions.

As it happens they don't actually call it spying. They call it 'gathering intelligence' about a 'person of interest'.

So, what's their interest in me?

Oh that's an easy one.

Just read this blog and it's as plain as the nose on your face that untrustworthy Police Scotland and their cronies in the corrupt Crown office don't like what I say about them. They particularly hate it when I, or anyone for that matter, dares to expose their corruption.

Theres really not much more to it than that.

Public-enemy-number-one, I most certainly am not. I can assure you that my life is far less exciting and much more boring than that, believe me.

So, if you criticise Police Scotland and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service - as you are legally allowed to do and, in fact, should be encouraged to do because they work for us and spend our money - they'll get you back by spying on you (under the guise of 'gaining intelligence' of course).

The idea is that they hope some day you'll break some obscure law - like being drunk in charge of a fish supper or something equally ridiculous - and that will then give them an excuse to pounce on you, arrest you, prosecute you, and exact revenge on you for all your past criticism of them.

Yes, the police and Crown office are very vindictive people.

Very vindictive.

It's pretty much the old bully boy tactics - a sort of "how dare you exercise your right to free speech, don't you know who we are", and all that kind of stuff.

I often think of the popular quote (usually accredited to Voltaire but is actually by the writer S. G. Tallentyre), which famously says: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

Sadly Police Scotland and the Crown office have never heard of Voltaire or S.G. Tallentyre.

Nor have they heard of the concept of free speech or freedom of expression.

Freedom of speech is an essential requirement of any democratic society and Police Scotland and the Crown office have a duty to help, support, and protect you and I to speak freely. Police Scotland and the Crown office should defend our right to free speech, not curtail it.

But instead, they monitor and try to persecute anyone who dares to criticise them.

So much for democracy, justice, and basic human rights eh?

In addition to this blog, I run another website called www.BentFiscals.co.uk which is all about, well, bent fiscals - corrupt Procurator Fiscals in the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service.

The BentFiscals website pre-dates this blog and came about after a number of incidents I experienced with the Crown office including one where I had a meeting with a corrupt Procurator Fiscal Depute by the name of Brendan Devaney who, after I called him an incompetent liar to his face (which apparently PF's don't like you doing), sent two Police Scotland officers to my door within hours.

Of course the arrogant, vindictive, and incompetent liar Devaney denied he had instructed police to do this, but what he didn't know was that one of the police officers - at my request - radioed in to the control room while standing in my living room to ask who gave the instruction to pay me a visit and 'have a word'.

It came back over his radio that the code showed it had come from "Procurator Fiscals Office, Hamilton".

Ahhh, caught red-handed Devaney you rascal!

But it get's better (or worse, depending how you look at it).

I immediately lodged a complaint against corrupt liar PF Devaney. But low and behold, the very next day some 'unknown person' went in to the police computer and changed the code to make it look like it did not come from the PF Hamilton office.

An investigation followed but it was concluded that with so many police officers having access to the police computer that day, they were unable to find out who it was who changed the code.

Surprise, surprise, who'd have thunk it eh <yawn>.

That's only one example, but it does illustrate the kind of thing I have personally experienced at the hands of the motley crew at the Crown office and their minions at Police Scotland who jump to their every command.

I keep a close eye on my websites and some years ago I noticed that the Police and the Crown office seemed awfully interested in me, my journalism, and what I say.

For example I discovered that they had asked the University Of Strathclyde to try to figure out how I had my BentFiscals website set up. A bit daft really, because if they'd just asked me I would've happily told them - unlike them, I'm honest, above board, and not secretive in any way in what I do, what I say, and what my views are.

If they had bothered to ask me I would have told them that BentFiscals sits on a server in Frankfurt, Germany, and from there forwards to a server in the Nuaru islands off the east coast of Australia, and finally ends up on what's known as a special 'Freedom Of Speech Server' based in California, USA.

The 'Freedom Of Speech Server' is particularly important because unlike most British and European web hosts, my server hosts in the USA do not scare easy when lawyers or foreign authorities threaten them with legal action and take-down notices. In fact my web hosts will only take a website down if the order to do so is issued by a judge in the state of California after due process in a Californian court of law.

So good luck to them if they want to try and shut me up and shut me down. Anyway, even if they did try it and were by some miracle successful, one of my supporters abroad would have a clone of the website back online under a new domain name within 72 hours and their lengthy and expensive legal attempts at trying to stifle my freedom of speech would just have to start all over again.

The bottom line is that I'm a journalist. I investigate, I report. My websites and my articles here and in other publications do a public service for the people of Scotland.

I expose wrong-doing in untrustworthy Police Scotland and the corrupt COPFS and if they were good, honest, and decent people they would be thanking me for the work I do - not trying to spy on me, monitor me, and persecute me just because they don't like criticism.

That kind of stuff should only happen in third world countries with tin pot dictators, not here in Scotland.

The first inkling I got that anything was amiss was when I picked up the police's commonly known and infamous IP address on my web stats: 212.137.45.109

Click On Photo For Full Size
To the uninitiated it looks like nothing more than a benign Cable & Wireless Internet IP address based in Swindon.

But it's really the police watching you.

By the way, don't waste your time submitting a Freedom Of Information Request to ask about 212.137.45.109 because that's already been done. Their response was a request denied "for reasons of National Security and so as not to compromise ongoing investigations". A bit silly really considering that even the dogs in the street know that 212.137.45.109 belongs to the police.

Not only does everyone (including the criminals) know 212.137.45.109 is GCHQ's Swindon Cable & Wireless IP address, but it's a matter of public record that Cable & Wireless are the ISP that assisted GCHQ with their “Mastering the Internet” program and with whom the National Policing Improvement Agency signed a deal with to provide elements for the national communications network (also known as PNN3).

If you email the police to tell them your cat's stuck up a tree, their email reply to you will have 212.137.45.109 on the email headers (source code).

Rocket science it ain't!

So what's it all about?

Why would the Police spy on you using 212.137.45.109 and do such a poor job of it?

Are they really so incompetent and stupid?

Well, yes, they are incompetent, and they are stupid, but rest assured they're most certainly not incompetent and stupid when it comes to surveillance.

You see if police want to properly spy on you - and I mean really properly spy on you - they'll do it, and they'll do it well. So well in fact that you'll be very hard pushed to actually know they're doing it, never mind figuring out how they're doing it.

National security is a serious business and there are some very nasty people out there so you can be assured that they most certainly do not use the widely known 212.137.45.109 IP address to do the real serious surveillance work.

So the 212.137.45.109 IP address is just their way of letting you know "we're watching you".

A gentle threat.

A warning if you like.

Believe me, if the 212.137.45.109 address had anything to do with national security (even though police lied and claimed it does in the FOI request that was submitted to them) I would not be revealing it on this blog. Trust me, I know how they monitor me and my communications aside from the 212.137.45.109 IP address - but I also pride myself in being a responsible citizen and journalist so it should be obvious to you why I'm not going to reveal to you here how they do it.

So to conclude this post, here's the deal.

When you look at your website stats or email headers and see the IP address 212.137.45.109, don't worry.

It's just our bold boys in blue giving you a friendly warning that they're 'interested' in you and are monitoring what you're doing and what you're saying, that's all.

They're just trying to gather bits and bobs of evidence against you in the hope that all the little things you've said and done can one day be combined to make it all in to something bigger - something that they can one day 'do you' for (it's called bundling evidence).

Whether it's legal, honest, or fair for them to do this to you is another question entirely.