More than 80 Police Officers under investigation over claims sexual misconduct and racism
More than 80 Scots police officers are under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct and racism.
The figures come after Britain’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, was labelled institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic and in need of radical reform.
Under Freedom of Information powers it has emerged 54 Scots officers are being probed for sexual misconduct. It’s understood that complaints range from sexual assault to inappropriate comments.
This is a rise of more than 50 per cent of complaints in the previous reporting period.
Sexual misconduct and rape cases are being probed by Police Scotland's Professionals Standards Unit. As the investigations take place, 29 have been suspended from duty, with eight on restricted duties.
Under the probe another 29 officers are being investigated over racism with complaints including allegations of racially aggravated conduct.
For that three officers have been suspended and two are on restricted duties.
Police Scotland officers and staff were facing record numbers of sex complaints in 2022 following the case of Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old marketing executive raped and murder of by Metropolitan Police Officer, Wayne Couzens.
At the time, the force said the rise was due to greater awareness that police could become sexual predators even while on duty.
Since then, Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick has admitted to four counts of rape, false imprisonment and indecent assault of just one woman, plus 43 other charges against 11 other women.
In the latest report that went before the Scottish Police Authority it’s stated:
“Work is currently ongoing, both within Police Scotland and across the UK, regarding abuse of position by police officers or members of police staff in order to conduct predatory sexual behaviour.
“The significant harm with which a single instance of sexual misconduct or abuse of police powers can have on the public's trust and confidence in the Police Service requires this to remain a priority for Police Scotland, with appropriate skilled resources conducting the investigations.”
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor QPM said: “We know from independent review, legal and misconduct cases, and through listening to our own staff that policing in Scotland is not immune from the racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination which persists across society.
“Police Scotland is meeting these challenges head-on through sustained, tangible and measurable activity, driving a relentless focus on our values and standards under our Policing Together programme.
“We are listening to our people and acting to address concerns; we have strengthened recruitment and vetting; we are providing new equality and inclusion education for all officers and staff; and we are investing in leaders to equip them with the tools to build teams which reflect our values.
“Policing has an important role to play as, collectively, we build a country where everyone knows they are safe and secure and where women and girls live free from violence, abuse, exploitation and harassment.
“As we build an anti-racist Service which stands against sexism and champions equality, the onus is on every police officer and member of staff to live our standards and values and earn the trust of our fellow citizens. Providing all our communities with a just and effective police service is fundamental to policing legitimacy and to our ability to keep people safe.”