Seven accused of gross misconduct in Emma Caldwell investigation

Seven officers face gross misconduct inquiries after unlawfully seizing communications data in the aftermath of an unsolved murder inquiry.

Nov 24, 2017

Seven officers face gross misconduct inquiries after unlawfully seizing communications data in the aftermath of an unsolved murder inquiry. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is investigating Police Scotland’s counter corruption unit (CCU) over its actions following the 2005 murder of Emma Caldwell. An update to the Scottish Parliament’s justice sub-committee on Thursday (November 23) found the officers did not seek judicial approval when trying to access communications data to establish journalists’ sources. Police Scotland has confirmed the officers have not been suspended but are on restricted duties. The PSNI inquiry, which is due to finish soon, follows a second misconduct investigation led by Durham Constabulary. The update paper said: “The [Durham Constabulary] inquiry concluded in May 2017 with a detailed report received by Police Scotland. “As a consequence of the detail contained within this report, it was assessed as appropriate to progress a conduct investigation and, as such, the PSNI undertook a gross misconduct investigation which is ongoing at this time. “Seven serving officers are the subject of this investigation, which is anticipated to conclude in the coming weeks.” Ms Caldwell’s body was discovered in a wooded area in Lanarkshire in May 2005 but the case remains unsolved. Last November, the Interception of Communications Commissioner ruled that Police Scotland acted unlawfully when it seized phone records belonging to two serving officers and a former officer turned journalist investigating the murder. The force had been trying to establish if officers had leaked information regarding the inquiry. In 2015, the Lord Advocate ordered Police Scotland to launch a fresh investigation into the murder after its initial efforts failed to bring anyone to justice. The PSNI’s report and a redacted report by Durham Constabulary are expected to be published next month. Aemer Anwar, the lawyer representing Ms Caldwell’s family, has called for Police Scotland’s counter corruption unit to be disbanded. A statement released by the family added: “There is real shock and anger that Police Scotland should choose to use Parliament to blurt out such information, thus compounding the agony of the Caldwell family. “Emma’s family have always felt a deep sense of betrayal at the hands of the first police inquiry team. “Sadly, the CCU always appeared more interested in chasing journalists and law-abiding officers than those who let Emma’s killer escape justice.”

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