Donald Trump piled pressure on police, documents show

Tycoon Donald Trump wanted tough security around his golf course. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump has come under fire from police bosses for repeatedly demanding tougher security at his controversial Scottish golf resort.

The billionaire has demanded American-style police protection from Grampian Police at the Menie estate, according to high-ranking officers.

Documents released by the force show the tycoon piling pressure on the police to make more patrols and respond more rapidly to calls at the under-construction Aberdeenshire development.

Residents opposed to the Trump complex say there is a perception police “are working as a private security force for Trump”.

Over the last two years Trump and his aides have held numerous meetings and discussions with senior police officers, urging them to do more.

Memos show police’s growing concern their impartiality could be damaged.

Trump had “unrealistic expectations” the force would behave like the New York Police Department (NYPD), Scots officers said.

The force released more than 200 pages of internal reports, memos and emails detailing its relationship with the Trump Organisation since it won planning permission for the £750million golf and hotel development in November 2008.

Documents reveal Trump, his son Donald Jr and his senior aides pressed officers to beef up security.

On October 7, 2010, Trump requested Inspector Steve Pratt meet him at short notice to defend policing tactics.

In a formal minute of the meeting, Pratt said he reminded Trump that the aim was to police with the co-operation of the community “as opposed to what he was used to in the USA.”

Pratt was ordered to write the minute by his Aberdeenshire divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren.

McLaren was anxious to “avoid similar circumstances in the future”.

He wrote: “Without independent corroboration of what was discussed, the purpose of the meeting could be open to speculation, which could potentially undermine our neutral stance.

“To a neutral observer, a police inspector meeting with a visiting multimillionaire American businessman, with a vested interest in a massive and extremely powerful business venture, does not sit equally with any visit to a local resident concerned about their home and property.”

One October 28, 2009, Trump’s son and a senior aide, George Sorial, “ambushed” Grampian Police’s critical-incident planning coordinator, Inspector Derek Hiley.

They turned up unexpectedly at a meeting demanding to know what the police reaction would be “if a dreadlocked individual in combats was on the estate in the middle of the night”.

According to an email he wrote to colleagues later that day, Hiley warned against Trump’s security officers tackling any intruders, and suggested calling police.

“It was a difficult 10 minutes that kind of sets the scene as to where we are in the relationship,” Hiley wrote. “Trump’s expectations remain very high”.

Hiley and a colleague met again with Trump Jr, Sorial and others on May 4, 2010.

It was clear they wanted “to develop relations with Grampian Police, using their relationship with the NYPD as an example” said Hiley.

“George Sorial was quite direct, advising he wanted a greater police involvement on the estate.”

Another account of the meeting said Hiley “answered the Trump Organisation’s concerns and clarified some of the organisation’s unrealistic expectations”.

The documents also reveal discussions that took place about what to do “should an incident…like tunnelling occur on the estate”.

In the past, protestors have dug tunnels to occupy construction sites or lived in trees.

In an email on October 20, 2009, McLaren wrote: “I think it is wise to start discussions with the Trump people now to manage expectations about what our approach is likely to be. My guess would be that this thinking will not meet with the approval of the Trump people.”

Residents opposed to the development at Menie are yet to be convinced the police are impartial. David Milne, who lives next to the planned development, said he did have some sympathy for Grampian Police.

But, he added: “If something happens on the estate most of the locals won’t bother calling the police because of the perception that they are working as a private security force for Trump and his personnel.”

Film-maker Anthony Baxter was arrested on July 30, 2010, for interviewing one of Trump’s staff in July 2010. Charges were later dropped. He said: “Police claims that they are impartial don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

A Grampian Police spokesman said the force was “committed to operating in a manner which is both fair and impartial at all times, whilst attempting to meet the expectations of all those we serve.”

The Trump Organisation said it had been under attack from extreme fringe groups “intent on vandalising our site”.

A spokeswoman added: “After a spate of serious incidents, we asked for police intervention and assistance.”