Police threatened during caravan stand-off


Police were repeatedly threatened during a stand-off with a resident at a travellers’ site in Fife. 

Reinforcements were brought in when James McPhee told police they had made a mistake by going to arrest him and if anyone came into his caravan he would split their head open. 

James McPhee (35), of Thornton Wood, Kelty, appeared from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. 

He admitted that on 27th October at his home he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly shouting, swearing, making threats of violence and acting aggressively. 

Depute fiscal Clare Bremner said police had been trying to trace McPhee who was the subject of a warrant. 

Officers went to the Thornton Wood site at 10.15pm and saw McPhee lying sleeping on the sofa in a large touring caravan. 

When told a warrant had been granted for his arrest in Aberdeen, McPhee began shouting, “It’s f****** Friday. Come back on Sunday or Monday. Now f*** off.” 

He was asked to come out of the caravan but continued to be aggressive and told police, “It will be the worst mistake of your lives, you’ll see.” 

Additional officers were asked to attend and he was warned entry would be forced if he did not come out. 

“He became enraged at the prospect of the caravan being damaged,” said the depute. 

McPhee told police, “The first one through the door is getting their head split open.” 

Police made another request for back-up and this led to an operational support unit travelling from Edinburgh and a police incident officer coming from Glenrothes along with a dog handler. 

Officers put on protective clothing as McPhee continued to make threats saying, “You’ll see. You’ve made a mistake.” 

However, at 12.35pm he finally gave himself up and was arrested. 

The court was told McPhee had been drinking alcohol that night and was taken by surprise when police arrived at his caravan. 

Sheriff Alison McKay told McPhee, “This was an absolutely outrageous incident. Police were doing their duty and you made specific threats to them.” She jailed him for six months.


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