Chamberlain: Police Scotland needs both leadership and soul-searching
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats
Scottish Liberal Democrat MP and former police officer Wendy Chamberlain has today backed the recommendations in a new report which calls for all Police Scotland staff and officers to undergo equality and diversity training in order to tackle a "perceived 'men's club' culture".
The report by Mark Hamilton, Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, came after Rhona Malone successfully pursued a victimisation claim against Police Scotland at a tribunal last year.
Alongside equality and diversity training, the report also recommends that the recruitment and selection process for the firearms unit is reviewed to tackle barriers to selection.
Ms Chamberlain said:
"This report is clear that there are individuals who will need to make amends but also that there is a wider culture within Police Scotland which must be reformed.
"Scotland asks a lot of its officers and staff. Anyone who seeks a career in the service must know that they will be treated with dignity and respect by the officer next to them
"There have been a number of examples of officers retiring or exiting the force before disciplinary or misconduct procedures can take effect.
"After the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence, all officers and staff across the UK, myself included, were required to attend three days of equality and diversity training. Now the police service is at another crossroads and I urge Police Scotland to move forward
"This will not be an easy report for the police service to digest. It will require both soul searching and responsible leadership but it is important that these changes are made if the organisation is to win the trust of both staff and the wider public."