This started off as a rather amusing story in the Evening Times where police in Dumfries & Galloway managed to turn the tables on a member of the public who tried to have a wee pop at them on Facebook.
Callum Smith took a photo of a police car in a car park which cops had inconsiderately and badly parked on yellow diagonals.
Nothing unusual in that. Hey, we've all witnessed Police Scotland officers parking illegally. We've all witnessed police exceeding the speed limit while not on a blue light call.
And I'm sure we've all, like Callum, been more than a little bit peeved to see police officers getting away with doing things which we know fine well they'd issue us a ticket for.
Dumfries police quickly responded to Callum's Facebook pic of the badly parked police car and criticism of them...by posting their own pic of Callum, 5 years ago, parking badly in the exact same car park!
So what started out as Callum having a pop at the police for their bad parking ended up with police showing Callum up for doing the exact same thing. Touche as they say in France.
All in all, it was a rather amusing story and, I'm sure everyone agrees, pretty much a "fair cop".
One thing bothers me about this story though.
That pic the police published showing Callum parking badly in that same car park was from 5 years ago.
Let's think about this for a moment.
Callum sees police doing something wrong.
He then takes a pic of it and complains about it to police (quite rightly).
But instead of police bosses apologising or seeking out the offending officers and giving them a stern warning about their behaviour, police start searching around to see if they can find any "dirt" on Callum, the complainer.
Sorry to be a bit of a killjoy, but that's the real story here and it's very, very important.
Because it shows that if you dare to complain about a Scottish police officer, be assured his colleagues will hunt you down and pursue you instead.
It's well known (and I've reported here before) that Police Scotland have more than 800 million photos and video footage from traffic cameras on their databases that they refuse to delete. Most are photos of innocent law-abiding members of the public going about their daily business. Police have no legitimate reason to keep these pics but they still refuse to delete them.
It's also well known that Police Scotland also keep intelligence files on innocent members of the public. For example, if you fall out with your next door neighbour, then the next time it's your birthday and you have some friends round to dinner he could complain to police that your music is a bit loud and you're a noisy neighbour. That false allegation then gets added to your intelligence file even though no charges were brought against you because you didn't do anything wrong. It just sits there in your file that a complaint against you was once made but no charges brought. So even though you have done absolutely nothing wrong but police now have you "marked" as a potentially anti-social person.
But why, I hear you ask, do police keep these intelligence files containing every little thing about you, no matter how big or small, and no matter whether you've ever committed a crime or done anything wrong or not?
Well, the answer is that police keep it to use for a thing we call "bundling".
Bundling is a secret trick untrustworthy Police Scotland and the corrupt Crown office use to great effect to get prosecutions against otherwise innocent members of the public.
They keep a record of everything about you and everything you do so that one day if they want to arrest you for something and don't have enough evidence that you've actually committed any crime they can "bundle" some other stuff from your intelligence file to help tip the balance of evidence more in their favour and make you look more like a baddie.
You see, Police need to make lots of arrests and charge lots of people to show the public "that they're doing a good job" keeping the bad guys off the streets.
But if you haven't done anything wrong - or certainly nothing bad enough to justify an arrest and a charge - the Procurator Fiscal may be unwilling to take it to trial. So...police dig up any dirt they can find from your past, no matter how insignificant (from your intelligence file) in the hope that it'll boost an otherwise weak charge and encourage the PF to proceed with a prosecution against you.
For example, if you were to make a simple, minor, and honest mistake while driving, police would use, say, a pic from years ago of you parked on a double-yellow to "help along" an otherwise dodgy charge. They pull out all the stops to show you in a bad light. Anything to justify an arrest or a charge or a ticket.
And that folks is what this story is really all about.
I'm sure many people are laughing at Callum having the tables turned on him by the police. Hey, I must admit I had a laugh myself at the story (come on, he did deserve it after all didn't he)?!
But the fact that police can - and do - expend so much time and effort to target you if you dare to criticise them or complain about them is something that we simply cannot overlook.
These types of police tactics are widespread and they're nothing short of sinister.