POLICE Scotland’s chief constable has angrily hit out at claims the force has been manipulating crime figures.
Sir Stephen House said he was “annoyed” and “upset” by allegations the figures had been altered for political ends – and vowed that he would not tolerate such activity.
His comments came ahead of a Scottish Parliament vote on a Labour motion to expel Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
Mr MacAskill faces claims that performance targets had been used to boost conviction rates.
Sir Stephen, asked about the claims of manipulation, said: “Annoyed. I don’t agree with it. I don’t think it is correct at all.”
He said: “It is like saying to the cops: ‘You are not valued. We don’t trust you. And I don’t think the majority of public feel that way. The majority [of police officers] report will report what they see in front of them.”
“Manipulation has happened in the history of policing. But we put in an awful lot of steps to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“It’s upsetting when you read it. I don’t get paid a bonus of any shape or form. I am certainly not on performance-related pay.
“Why would I compromise 34 years in the police for my own self-worth never mind anyone else’s to take part in a manipulation offigures? I would not tolerate it.”
He added: “We will take action against people we find manipulating figures. It does not happen systematically in Police Scotland.”
The chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, Brian Docherty, earlier this week accused “point-scoring politicians” of interfering in operational matters.
But a government spokeswoman defended the statistics, which are compiled using rules set 10 years ago.
She said: “Scotland has a well-established and robust system to ensure consistent and accurate recording of police data through the Scottish Crime Recording Standard – this is independently reviewed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland.”