Fed wants public to pay social responsibility charge

From Police Oracle on 21/04/2016

Should football fans or nightclub and festival goers pay an extra fee on their tickets to directly fund the police and local authority costs associated with the event?

Such a cost – labelled a social responsibility levy – was proposed by the Scottish Government in 2010 but later shelved.

Now the Scottish Police Federation has called for the measure to be introduced in a manifesto it has produced to coincide with next month’s elections.

Calum Steele, Fed general secretary, told PoliceOracle.com: “To use the example of a music festival, people are who pay £150 for a ticket which lasts a couple of days could be charged a levy, perhaps 50p or so, that’s not going to deter someone from attending and that would go back to the community and would have the opportunity to make a massive difference.”

He said it could be used to cover costs such as cleaning up the sites used afterwards.

The Scottish Government is locked in a legal dispute with whisky manufacturers over its attempt to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol.

The manifesto, produced by the association’s joint central committee, also requests legislation be introduced in order to allow officers to participate in political debate.

It says: “We consider it is appropriate to restrict police officers from taking a partisan role in politics.

“However, we believe there is room to consider their participation in other aspects of poltical life.”

Fed chairman Brian Docherty said: “Police officers have a right to do what anybody else can do. If people want to be involved and can do it off duty.

“It would bring clarity, you sometimes get a new deputy coming in and saying ‘this is what we’re doing now’.”

Abolition of targets in policing, discounted public transport for public sector workers, give Police Scotland an enhanced maritime policing capability and a cyber security agency also feature in the manifesto, released last weekend.

On the reaction it has received so far, Mr Steele added: “As is always the way you see elements of the political parties and their followers [engaging on social media with] the bits they like themselves.

“There has been broad support for most elements from most parties, it’s a manifesto that extends across several areas in public life, not just justice, you could say there’s something for everyone in it.”