The Scotsman, 12 December 1996
Police press for investigation on Masonic links
Frank Urquhart

RANK 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 murderer Thomas Hamilton.LINK

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.LINK

It is believed a similar demand is being made by officers from Northern Constabulary.

The Grampian board has passed a motion on Freemasonry which will be put to the federation's national conference at Peebles in April 1997.

Henk 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."LINK

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 openly.

Douglas Keil, the federation's general secretary, said: "At the moment the federation does not have a policy on membership of the Freemasons or any other society.

"Officers are free to join whatever club or society they wish, provided they do not conflict with a number of restrictions on the private lives of police officers.LINK  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.

Mr Keil 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 ~ Whaaat?  Classed by whom as employees of the Chief Constable?  Walter Mitty?  Homer Simpson?  Who exactly?  I think we should be told.  If police officers are employees of the Chief Constable, where does he get the money to pay their wages?  In any event, like every other call to enforce "public servants" to declare any involvement with Freemasonry, it sinisterly evaporates without any record of debate.]


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