Crime and Justice

Police Scotland probe more than one hundred corruption cases


Police Scotland has investigated more than a hundred cases of suspected corruption in Scottish public bodies since April 2013.

The force opened 27 investigations since April 2016, and officers have investigated 114 cases since April 2013. Only 109 cases were closed over the same period, suggesting that at least five cases are still open.

The figures were obtained by The Ferret using Freedom of Information legislation.

Police Scotland declined to provide a breakdown of the public bodies that were the subject of corruption allegations. The force claimed that: “to provide any further detail in respect of the annual breakdown of individual public sector organisations…is likely to inform those agencies and others that a complaint was received by Police Scotland and an investigation has subsequently taken place.

“Whether justified or otherwise, such public disclosures would allow conclusions to be drawn regarding the potential details of those complaints and even the individuals involved.”

The full FOI request can be read in The Ferret’s document archive.

Anti-corruption work at Police Scotland has itself been the subject of controversy. Last year it was revealed that more than a hundred claims had been made against the Counter Corruption Unit over seven years, forcing senior officers to re-structure and rename it the “Anti-Corruption Unit”.

Officers at the Counter Corruption Unit were found to have unlawfully intercepted the communications of a Scottish journalist. Ultimately this led to Police Scotland being ordered to pay £10,000 in damages by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

Staff at the Counter Corruption Unit were also said to have breached data protection rules twice.

If you have any information that may be relevant to these corruption investigations, or indeed corruption at any other public agency, you can find out how to leak information to The Ferret here.

Ferret Journalists are committed to public interest reporting and protecting the confidentiality of our sources.

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