Anyone with experience of untrustworthy Police Scotland know that arrest figures are of the utmost importance to them.
High arrest figures allow police to falsely claim they are doing a great job. It works in an incredibly simple way. Arrest figures allow the police to say "Hey Mr & Mrs Joe Public, look at us, we've arrested lots of bad guys, so we're keeping you, the Scottish public, safe."
It's complete nonsense of course, but it has been the number one tactic in their playbook as long as I can remember and sadly most members of the public who don't understand how policing in Scotland really works are taken in by it all.
And now we discover that Police Scotland have descended to an even lower low.
Their latest tactic is to...wait for it...pay friends, family and neighbours to spy on each other.
It has been leaked out that police have recently been actively trying to turn young football fans into paid informants in an attempt to build a large "informant ring" of football fans who can provide intelligence on their fellow supporters.
And my sources tell me that this is actually just the tip of the iceberg. The number of fully paid secret police informants in many other walks of life is rising at an alarming rate.
Make no bones about it. There are serious flaws in using paid informants and police are 'conveniently' ignoring these flaws.
It is an undisputable fact that when you PAY someone to give you information, the incentive for that informant to make money directly from the information they give you compromises the validity of the information.
Unsurprisingly, it suits the jack boots at Police Scotland to play down this fact.
A victims group who defend supporters rights called "Fans Against Criminalisation" contacted Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Living-under-a-stone about the paid informant claims but all they received in response was "We don't comment on operational matters".
Let's be clear here. Police secretly paying football fans to be informants has nothing at all to do with trying to root out bigotry or round up those ned supporters who drink buckfast and sing stupid songs at matches. It's a guise, a smokescreen if you will, to hide a much, much darker ulterior motive from Police Scotland.
And it's a big deal.
You see, I lived in Spain for a while back in the early eighties. The Spanish dictator general Franco hadn't long died when I went to live there and ordinary members of the Spanish public were still trying to come to terms with the lifetime of abuse they had endured under the Franco regime and his gestapo style policing of innocent Spanish citizens.
So the first thing the good people of Spain did after Franco died was to revoke the unbridled power of Franco's ultra-loyal Guardia Civil police force. Franco's Guardia Civil police ruled supreme in every city, town, and village in Spain. If you've ever spent a holiday in Spain you may have seen them around - they wear khaki-green army style uniforms with guns openly exposed by their side (designed to intimidate) and they tuck the bottom of their trousers in to high fronted military style black boots.
Anyway, the Guardia Civil police were unhappy about their sudden loss of power, so they attempted to regain power by trying to stage a coup in the Spanish parliament in 1981. With pistols and machine guns in hand, they sprayed bullets inside the parliament chamber as MP's dived for cover - and all this happened just a year before I went to live there!
Thankfully the coup failed, due in no small part to the King of Spain Juan Carlos promptly going on television that evening and denouncing the conspirators, denouncing their attempts to reinstate a dictatorship in Spain and calling on the Spanish people to reject the police's coup and instead support freedom and democracy.
So why do I tell you all this?
During the Franco era of dictatorship, the Guardia Civil police regularly paid people to spy on their neighbours and fellow citizens - just like Police Scotland are now doing.
You couldn't walk in to a shop or a bar or even chat to a friend or work colleague about Spanish politics and law, police behaviour, corruption or anything that criticised the police in any way because you never knew who you were talking to and if they were a paid police informant.
Stories abound of innocent Spaniards arrested, imprisoned, and taken away from their families just because an informant needed to make a few pesetas to feed his own family so he made up stories and gave them to the police in return for payment.
It was truly horrible.
I even knew one English woman who owned a little shop in a well-known Spanish tourist resort who was a paid informant for the Spanish police. Her particular job was to listen to conversations in the English speaking bars and cafes of ex-pats living in Spain and report them to the police.
Here's the bottom line.
When police ask citizens to spy on each other and inform on each other and pay them money for it, it very rarely results in that information having any substantial validity.
Instead they get bombarded with a ton of false tittle tattle from vindictive money-hungry hustlers and disgruntled friends and neighbours trying to cause trouble and make a quick buck.
The temptation to invent crimes and misdemeanours for financial gain and to curry favour with local police officers breeds corruption on a scale that is unimaginable and totally tears at the fabric of a civilised society.
I know it because I have seen it. I lived through it in my early years in Spain.
Don't let this happen here in Scotland.