Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
Sunday 22 June
Chief Constable John Vine - the "Bully of Gleneagles" - set to receive secret payoff
The departure of Tayside Police Chief Constable John Vine from the force at the end of July ought to be welcome news. After all, Vine has probably done more to dismantle civil liberties than any other Chief Constable in Scotland. Unfortunately, the good news has two stings in its tail. The first is that John Vine will become Chief Inspector of the new UK Border Agency. Asylum-seekers and migrants deserve better. The second sting is that John Vine looks set to receive a bumper bonus - and the amount is to be kept secret from the public.
The Tayside Joint Police Board personnel sub-committee will discuss the bonus payment on Monday. It is being recommended to the sub-committee that the bonus payments be discussed in private. But SACC will be seeking details of the payoff under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act.
John Vine led the disastrous policing arrangements for the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in July - arrangements that included the terrifying and farcical deployment of riot police from a giant Chinook transport helicopter to tackle peaceful demostrators. If the tragi-comedy of Gleneagles had not been immediately eclipsed by the London bombings, the outrage of people who had travelled to the demonstration from all over the UK might well have cost John Vine his job. Instead he was awarded the CBE in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to policing.
And it was under John Vine's leadership that Tayside Police set up it's controversial Special Branch Community Contact Unit (SBCCU) to spy on the region's Muslim community - including school pupils and university students. The unit is still operating, but Tayside Police have been keeping rather quieter about it since SACC exposed the intimidating tactics, racism and intelligence-gathering that the SBCCU engages in under cover of community bridge-building. Tayside police have in recent years also targeted political activists from the majority community.
The Bully of Gleneagles doesn't deserve any more of the taxpayers' money. And given his force's record of snooping into other people's affairs, he certainly doesn't deserve to have the deal protected from taxpayers' scrutiny.