Woman assaulted by police officer partner calls for law change

3 months ago 6

Annie HirdmanImage source, ANNIE HIRDMAN

Image caption,

Annie Hirdman claims her erstwhile spouse looked her up connected a constabulary database.

By Katie Hunter

BBC Scotland reporter

A pistillate who was assaulted by her constabulary serviceman spouse wants the time-limit to assertion compensation scrapped for home maltreatment survivors.

Annie Hirdman's erstwhile spouse Fraser Ross was convicted of battle successful 2021.

She besides claims helium looked her up connected a constabulary database and recovered details of erstwhile abuse. But the Crown Office said determination was not capable grounds to prosecute this alleged information breach.

And Police Scotland said she was excessively precocious to assertion compensation.

The Scottish Government said it was moving to present the recommendations of an autarkic reappraisal into constabulary complaints handling.

Ms Hirdman met Ross, from Motherwell, successful 2013.

She told the BBC helium was initially kind, but arsenic clip went connected helium became much controlling and abusive.

She started to marque concealed recordings of him, including 1 wherever helium tried to blasted her for his violence.

Ms Hirdman said she called the constabulary successful 2019 erstwhile she thought she was going to die.

She said: "He tried to strangle maine and I had to telephone the police, which gave maine a batch of fearfulness due to the fact that helium ever told maine if I phoned the constabulary I would spell to jailhouse due to the fact that I wouldn't beryllium believed."

Image source, ANNIE HIRDMAN

Image caption,

Fraser Ross was convicted successful April 2021

Fraser Ross was convicted successful April 2021 and sentenced to 250 hours' unpaid work, placed nether supervision for 3 years and fixed a six-year non-harassment order.

Ms Hirdman said helium told her successful 2013 oregon 2014 that helium had looked up accusation astir her connected a constabulary database and discovered accusation astir a erstwhile abusive relationship.

She believes that gave him the assurance to maltreatment her without fearing she would study him.

She said: "It gave him cognition of my vulnerabilities that helium past utilized to maltreatment maine for arsenic agelong arsenic helium did, and destruct maine to the constituent I present person injuries that are astir apt going to past a agelong time.

She said the alleged information breach was 1 of the biggest aspects of her case.

Police Scotland said it received a ailment successful February 2021 astir an serviceman utilizing constabulary systems unlawfully and it investigated and submitted a study to the procurator fiscal.

But the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service told Ms Hirdman determination was "insufficient grounds to found the authorities of knowledge/training the serviceman received successful narration to information extortion requirements astatine the day of the alleged offence".

Image source, ANNIE HIRDMAN

Image caption,

Annie Hirdman met Ross, from Motherwell, successful 2013

The Crown Office besides told her the peculiar circumstances of this lawsuit were not successful the nationalist involvement to prosecute.

Ms Hirdman says astatine this constituent she was successful "disbelief" but with transgression proceedings for the alleged information breach astatine an extremity she tried to assertion compensation from Police Scotland.

The unit said her assertion was time-barred.

A missive from a Police Scotland lawyer successful December 2022 said: "In Scotland you person 3 years from the day which you knew oregon ought to person known that injury, nonaccomplishment oregon harm was suffered to bring a assertion for compensation."

Ms Hirdman said she was successful nary presumption to safely study the alleged information breach portion she was inactive successful an abusive relationship.

She told the BBC: "That clip barroom isn't truly acceptable for immoderate unfortunate oregon survivor, that clip barroom is to support the radical who person committed the transgression truthful it can't spell connected everlastingly for them."

She is calling for the Scottish authorities to scrap the clip barroom for maltreatment victims.

Public interest

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "Police compensation is simply a substance for Police Scotland, which is accountable to the Scottish Police Authority.

"We person been moving alongside policing partners to present the recommendations made by Dame Elish Angiolini successful her autarkic reappraisal of constabulary complaints handling, investigations and misconduct, with 58 of the 72 non-legislative recommendations already enacted.

"The Police Complaints and Misconduct Handling Bill to beryllium introduced aboriginal this year, arsenic planned, volition present connected the remaining recommendations which necessitate legislation."

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said "careful consideration" was fixed to immoderate reports of alleged transgression conduct.

A spokesperson said: "Criminal proceedings volition beryllium raised if the reports incorporate capable grounds of a transgression and if it is due and successful the nationalist involvement to bash so."

Fraser Ross resigned from Police Scotland successful July 2021 much than 2 months aft helium was convicted.

Police Scotland said it could lone disregard a constabulary serviceman for gross misconduct aft it had carried retired a behaviour probe and proceedings.

A spokesperson said: "The serviceman resigned successful July 2021 earlier misconduct proceedings were concluded.

"All officers and unit are required to behaviour themselves successful enactment with our values and those who cull what we basal for don't beryllium successful Police Scotland. We person nary quality nether existent behaviour regulations to forestall an serviceman from resigning."

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