Tory MSP Russell Findlay and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

By Bill Heaney

Tory MSP Russell Findlay complained to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the police complaints system in Scotland is “cruel” and badly needs changing.

Mr Findlay, who was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Mail before becoming a parliamentarian, said: “Rhys Bonner has been described as a “gentle giant” by his mum Steph. He was found dead in marshland in Glasgow in 2019.

“Police Scotland said that his death was fully investigated, but his family disagrees. Last week, three and a half years since losing her son, some of Steph’s complaints were upheld, with the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, asking Police Scotland to conduct new inquiries and to provide more information. Steph has told me that she is tormented by a process that she describes as ‘cruel’.

“It has been two years since the Angiolini report laid bare the Scottish National Party’s broken police complaints system. How many more families have to suffer before the First Minister or her justice secretary fixes it?”

Nicola Sturgeon told him: “On the police complaints system, we are, of course, taking forward recommendations from the Angiolini report and, indeed, we will legislate in respect of those recommendations.

It would not be right or appropriate for me to comment in detail on that specific case. However, the police are, of course, expected to respond to any recommendations or actions that they are instructed to take by the PIRC, and I would expect that to be the case there.

“The broader reform of the complaints system is under way and on-going, and the justice secretary will keep the Parliament updated as appropriate.”

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