Scotland saw 53 child abductions last year

By Oliver Farrimond and Cara Sulieman

SCOTLAND has seen 53 cases of child abduction in the last year, according to figures released today.

Although the term abduction can cover a range of crimes, the cases include a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was forced into a car and sexually abused before being released by her captor.

Strathclyde Police had the largest number of cases in the last year, with 33 children being held against their will.

Politicians have vowed to do all they can to improve the system, saying that any case of abduction is “extremely traumatic” for the families involved.

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Revellers gear up for Scotland’s biggest music festival

Becky Cutler, Lauren Gibson and Zoe Kinnaird arrive at the festival ready to party

By Cara Sulieman

THOUSANDS of excited music fans started to descend on the small town of Kinross today as T in the Park got underway for the 17th time.

The festival – which grew from a humble 17,000 capacity back in Strathclyde Country Park in 1994 – will see 85,000 people gather to listen to live sets from headliners Eminem, Muse and Kasabian.

And although most of the revellers will congregate from Friday an advance guard of some 30,000 were pitching their tents today for an evening of fun before the full festivities.

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Brave Scots gather for awards ceremony

Ricci Foreman tried to save tragic Jessica McCagh after her boyfriend set her slight and trapped her in his flat.

By Cara Sulieman and Paul Thornton

A YOUNG man who dragged a teenage girl from a flat after her boyfriend poured petrol on her and set her on fire was among 50 heroes to be recognised by a new award presented for the first time today.

Ricci Foreman, 20, was presented with a Brave@Heart award for his attempt to rescue Jessica McCagh after a horrific fire attack by twisted killer Stewart Blackburn.

The hero was just 19 years old when he tried to save Jessica, 17, at her flat in Arbroath in April last year.

He battled a blazing and smoke filled room to repeatedly pour a fish tank of water over the girl, who had been set on fire with petrol, and helped her out of the home.

Jessica tragically lost her fight for life later the same day.

Blackburn was later given a life sentence with a minimum of 21 years behind bars after being convicted of murder.

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Police Peg Hopes Of Finding Missing Suzanne Pilley In Argyll

By Shaun Milne & Cara Sulieman

THE ex lover of missing bookkeeper Suzanne Pilley found himself hanging out to dry today (Tues) – as police stepped up their hunt for his missing work colleague.

David Gilroy spent the day at his Edinburgh home carrying out domestic chores and braved waiting reporters only long enough to hang out some washing in the back garden of the Silverknowes property.

He refused to answer questions about the continued police probe into the death of his former mistress as detectives announced they are basing a full time team at a Scots beauty spot where they believe her body has been dumped.

Police revealed they have now had more than 80 calls about possible sightings of a silver-coloured car in the Argyll area which they say is key to finding out what happened to the 38-year-old who vanished on May 4.

This morning her parents Robert and Sylvia, both 67, said they were too distraught to even contemplate talking about their feelings, exactly three weeks since she last texted them on her way to work. Continue reading

Cops to hide tattoos

By Andrea McCallum

TATTOOED cops are being ordered to hide their inked body parts after reports they shock crime victims.

Four of Scotland’s police forces have announced a crackdown on body art and will no longer recruit anyone with markings on their face or neck.

Police officers in Tayside, Grampian, Fife and Lothian and Borders with tattoos will now cover them up with full-length sleeved shirts.

But forces in Strathclyde, Northern, Central and Dumfries and Galloway have said they will keep their policy of dealing with tattooed officers on a “case by case basis”.

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Police spend thousands on mobile cells for female arrests

By Andrea McCallum

A SCOTS police force is spending £765,000 on mobile cells after a surge in the number of drunken female arrests.

Strathclyde Police said they are running out of room because of a rise in the number of drunk and violent women being nicked.

The force has lifted twice as many women as four years ago and as a result is buying 10 portable cells.

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Scottish police to use spy planes

By Cara Sulieman

SCOTTISH police forces could soon be using unmanned spy planes to keep tabs on citizens in a bid to crack down on crime.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have already been trialled by Strathclyde Police who used one in rescue operations in rural Argyll.

And Scotland’s largest police force is keen to be at the forefront of the new technology, which is being looked at by all forces in the UK.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland has joined forces with their English counterpart to form the Unmanned Aerial Systems Steering Group, who meets regularly to discuss the use of the planes, and report to the Home Office.

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Concern grows for missing Musselburgh mum

Elizabeth McVey is missing from her family home

By Cara Sulieman

MOUNTED police patrols today joined the hunt for a missing Scots mum as fears grew for her safety after she disappeared from her home early on Monday morning.

Elizabeth McVey, from Musselburgh, has not been seen since she vanished from her home in the East Lothian town’s Eskview Road.

The last time anyone from her family saw the keen churchgoer was around 12.30am at her home before she was reported missing by relatives seven hours later.

She is registered as living at the house with husband Michael, and grown up children, son Mark and daughter Lynsey.

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Call to pray for police

By Cara Sulieman

A GROUP of policeman think that they can cut crime by getting community groups to “adopt a cop” and pray for them.

The Christian Police Association are urging churches of all denominations to pray for cops all over the country – saying it will reduce crime, ease community tension and protect the boys in blue from temptation.

Harry Pearson, branch leader of Strathclyde Christian Police Alliance, said that it “may well bring tangible results”.

The initiative is part of Coact, a national scheme which aims to build bridges between Christian communities and police across Britian.

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Buckfast brewers pressured to remove caffeine

By Rory Reynolds

THE makers of Buckfast are under pressure to remove caffeine from its recipe after new figures linked the drink to crime.

Research shows that half of young men jailed for booze-related crimes consumed the tonic wine before committing an offence, with some claiming the caffeine made them “hyper” and aggressive.

A BBC investigation has revealed that the strong tonic wine has been cited 5,000 times in crime reports over three years by Scotland’s largest police force, Strathclyde.

One in 10 of the crimes were violent, with figures showing that bottles of Buckfast themselves have been used as a weapon on 114 occasions.

BBC Scotland Investigates, being shown tonight also examined the physical effects of drinking Buckfast through inmates at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institute. Continue reading