and file officers from the Grampian
board of the Scottish Police Federation
are calling for an investigation into the strength of links
between Freemasonry and the police.
The demand for
an inquiry into police
membership of the Masons and other
secret societies has come amid growing
concerns about the influence of "the Brotherhood"
in some forces and talk of a possible connection between the
Freemasons and the Dunblane
South of the Border,
the Association of Chief Police Officers
is calling on the Home Office to bring
in legislation to make it compulsory for officers to register
their membership of any organisation whose articles of association
demand a bond
of loyalty from its members.
It is believed
a similar demand is being made by officers from Northern
board has passed a motion on Freemasonry
which will be put to the federation's national conference at
Peebles in April 1997.
Rennie, the secretary of the board in Grampian,
said yesterday: "We have passed a number of motions for
conference, one of which deals with membership of any organisation
or society which has secret
or semi-secret undertones."
He refused to comment
on the reasons behind the branch's motion because of the sensitivity
of the subject but confirmed that membership of the Freemasons
would be one of the issues raised. "The motion
was passed by a majority and it is now up to the joint central
committee to decide what happens," he said.
If the motion is
approved for debate at conference, it would be the first time
in the federation's history that links between Freemasonry
and the police have been discussed
Keil, the federation's general secretary, said:
"At the moment the federation does not have a policy on
membership of the Freemasons or any
are free to join whatever club or society they wish, provided
not conflict with a number of restrictions on the
private lives of police officers.
They cannot take an active part in politics or have separate
business interests. But at the moment the regulations
are silent on what organisations they can join.
Last week the Convention
of Scottish Local Authorities published draft
guidelines of a code of conduct for council staff which would
include a requirement to declare membership of Masonic
lodges and other secret organisations.
said, however, that the COSLA plans
would not affect serving police.
"Although the police are seen
in one way as a department of the council, police
officers aren't council employees and are classed as public
servants and employees of the chief constable," he said.
[Ed ~ Classed by whom? If they are
the Chief Constable's employees, where does he get the money
to pay their wages! ]
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