NORTHERN CONSTABULARY CHIEF CONSTABLE IAN LATIMER
Almost a decade ago Kevin McLeod tragically died following a night out in Wick.
This was indeed a heart-breaking loss for the family, however, numerous investigations including a fatal accident inquiry (1998) concluded that Kevin's death was a tragic accident.
In the intervening years, recommendations made by Mr Andrew
Cameron in his report, which is being released today, have been implemented.
It is unfortunate, however, that the report is not able to be released in its entirety as some of the information has been redacted to take account of data protection requirements and part of the context is now lost.
It is the opinion of Northern Constabulary that the investigation by Mr Cameron in 2003 drew to a close outstanding issues of the criticisms made by Mr and Mrs McLeod into the handling of complaints made by them over a number of years.
It is therefore our position that all complaints made by the McLeod family were rigorously and independently investigated some years ago.
The allegations made in the report were not tested in a misconduct hearing and as chief constable I cannot make comment on behalf of officers who are no longer serving in this force and who retired some years ago.
Both myself and the Area Procurator Fiscal, Mr Andrew Laing, remain satisfied that this report does not reveal any issue which has not already been addressed, or alter my firm view that there are no credible outstanding lines of enquiry.
Nor is there any evidence to substantiate any allegation of criminality in the tragic death of Kevin McLeod in February 1997.
The report clearly states that my officers have been subject to a series of allegations, which have been shown to have no basis in fact, and, on examination, do not have any credibility.
I reiterate once again that there has never been any conspiracy or cover up in relation to the death of Kevin McLeod.
Every allegation with regard to any issues surrounding the investigations into the death of Kevin McLeod or the investigation of the complaints made by the family have been rigorously probed.
Each aspect of the investigation into the death has been considered and endorsed by the Crown and scrutinised by the independent procurator fiscal.
Additionally, every complaint made by the family has now been subject to independent investigation and is concluded.
I acknowledge that some of the complaints made against my officers could have been handled in a more professional manner, however, some 10 years on, lessons have been learned and changes have been made in the way complaints are dealt with by all forces.
JANET HOME, CONVENER OF NORTHERN JOINT POLICE BOARD
In January 2002, at the request of the Chief Constable Ian Latimer, Northern Joint Police Board agreed to ask the chief constable of Central Scotland Police to prepare an investigation report into Northern Constabulary's management of complaints made by the McLeod family of Wick following the death of their son Kevin at Wick Harbour in February 1997.
Today, in accordance with the decision notice issued by the Scottish Information Commissioner, the board has released that report.
The report has been redacted by the commissioner's office in the terms outlined in the notice.
The board is satisfied that the recommendations made in the report have been implemented and were validated by HMI in his last inspection in 2003.
We are satisfied that the complex issues which arose as a result of the investigation have been dealt with.
I will not be making further comment on any part of the report and would refer you to Northern Constabulary for any comment the Force may wish to make.