Police Scotland admit they spied on three officers during unlawful molehunt… but won’t pay them compensation

David Moran (Pic: Wattie Cheung)
David Moran (Pic: Wattie Cheung)

POLICE Scotland has refused to pay compensation to three officers spied on during an unlawful molehunt.

The force has rejected the recommendation of an outside chief constable who said the men were “gravely wronged” and deserved compensation after their phone and emails records were unlawfully seized.

The scandal was triggered in 2015 after a newspaper probe into the inquiry around the murder of Glasgow woman Emma Caldwell 10 years earlier.

Without the approval of a judge, Police Scotland’s now defunct Counter Corruption Unit launched a hunt to find out whether officers had leaked to journalists.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick was due to make the compensation ruling but retired last month so it was passed to Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne and Kenneth Hogg, Interim Chief Officer for the Scottish Police Authority (SPA).

It acknowledged an independent probe recommending compensation payments but a letter to the officers went on to say Police Scotland and the SPA had ruled there was “insufficient justification”.

Retired detective inspector David Moran, one of the officers spied on, said: “This has never been about money for any of us. It has been about Police Scotland’s actions and their attitude.

“Their executive have been defensive, secretive and every acknowledgement of their wrongdoing has had to be forced from them. They seem to have learned nothing.”

The decision to refuse compensation comes after a series of big payments to senior serving officers and officials at the SPA.

The SPA said: “Police Scotland has apologised unreservedly for their actions.

“The SPA and Police Scotland have also separately reviewed whether there is justification for making ex gratia payments and following careful consideration have decided that there is not.”