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  • Article: Apr 26, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes MSP today warned SNP ministers that leaning on researchers in any way would jeopardise Scotland's proud tradition of academic independence.

    Mrs McInnes was speaking after reports that an academic who made a speech on the use of a controversial stop and search tactic in Scotland had his words edited by Police Scotland. This came to light following freedom of information requests from the Sunday Herald newspaper.

    In 2013-14, Police Scotland recorded more than 600,000 stop and searches, the majority of which were so-called non-statutory searches with no legal basis. Searches of this sort have been banned in England and Wales.

  • Article: Apr 21, 2015

    Following the publication today of Lord Bonomy's Post-corroboration Safeguards Review and the announcement that proposals to abolish corroboration will now be removed from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, Alison McInnes MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, commented: "The report today vindicates the Scottish Liberal Democrats principled and reasoned opposition of the SNP's proposals to abolish corroboration.

  • Article: Apr 19, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats today warned police staff are bearing the brunt of the SNP's police centralisation agenda.

    It was revealed today that Police Scotland has had to set up wellbeing clinics to support demoralised staff affected by recent chaos in police control rooms.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said: "Police staff are bearing the brunt of the SNP's police centralisation agenda. Divisions once run by local officers for local communities clearly feel demoralised by the new top-down and impersonal approach seen under the national force. Scottish Liberal Democrats value the experience and skill of local police staff which is why we objected to plans to merge police control rooms. As their plans continue to come apart, police staff will rightly be asking why the SNP are suddenly silent on their once-lauded reform."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2015

    North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes today called on the SNP to act in the face of a growing crisis in the general practice, following the news that Brimmond medical group is to close. It serves some 8000 patients in Bucksburn and Dyce.

    She commented: "The closure of the Brimmond practice is a symptom of a growing malaise in general practice. GPs' workloads have been soaring as the profession struggles to attract and retain talent. Young doctors appear to be pursuing other specialisms. Early retirements are up, with more than a third of staff in their 50s. Others are emigrating in search of a better work-life balance. We cannot expect GPs and practice staff to spend more time with patients and provide more appropriate care closer to home without sufficient resources, additional staff or appropriate facilities. 

  • Article: Apr 8, 2015

    General Election

    There is just one month until polling day for the General Election. If you haven't already registered to vote or have moved, it isn't too late to secure your vote. You have until Monday 20 April to submit your application. For more information, please call the local electoral registration officer on 01224 664848 or visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

  • Article: Mar 31, 2015

    Alison McInnes, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson and North East MSP, has slammed the cat and mouse games played by Police Scotland following the publication today of a damning independent report into stop and search by HMICS.

    The report concluded:

    • The data on the consensual stop and search of children, recategorised after it was released to the BBC, continues to be incorrect. Contrary to the assurances given to Parliament, 83 children, rather than 18, were searched in contravention of force policy between June and December 2014.
    • Officers in Scotland do not have definitive guidance or a common view of what should be recorded as a stop and search and there is no training on the application of consensual search.
    • A widespread perception of targets around stop and search has led to negative behaviour, causing HMICS to recommend that the target for positive searches should be removed and the number of searches conducted should be removed from the performance framework.
    • There shouldn't be a one size fits all policy.
    • The entirety of stop and search data is unreliable and it can't be used to make informed decisions about future policy and practice.
    • Police Scotland and Scottish Police Authority should consult with the Scottish Government on the potential development of a statutory code of practice for stop and search to provide safeguards and guidance.
  • Article: Mar 27, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes today said new calls for a review of the one-size-fits-all approach to policing and the codification of the chief constable's powers show the SNP's centralisation agenda is "unravelling".

    The northern branch of the Scottish Police Federation has put a motion to its upcoming conference in Ayrshire, warning of a diminished frontline and calling for a "bottom-up" review of how resources are distributed.

  • Article: Mar 25, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP today called for answers over delays to the publication of crucial police data on incidents including domestic abuse and drug offences.

    It has emerged that Police Scotland has taken the decision to revise the release dates of four annual publications after the police encountered issues in merging the information. They are now expected to be published six months late.

  • Article: Mar 23, 2015

    North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes today welcomed news that Marykirk School has received "very good" evaluations in four out of five performance indicators from Education Scotland.

    The report has outlined school's effort to involve staff, parents and children in decision- making. It notes that "supportive and nurturing relationships characterise the school". It also notes that "all staff at Marykirk School are reflective and ambitious to improve the school".

  • Article: Mar 19, 2015

    Alison McInnes, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland, today welcomed cross-party support at Holyrood for the Aberdeen City Region Deal. 

    During Portfolio Questions today, Mrs McInnes secured assurances from the Scottish Government that the Scottish Government's staff and agencies will provide support to the bid team during its negotiations with the UK Government.