Police Scotland must act with more urgency to tackle misogyny, racism and homophobia in the ranks after a review of London’s Metropolitan Police exposed a culture of intolerance, according to firearms officer bullied from her job.
Rhona Malone, who was awarded £1 million after she was subjected to sexist victimisation, challenged a suggestion that Scotland’s national force does not face the same issues as the Met.
But Malone, who won a landmark case last year which exposed a culture of misogyny and bullying in her unit, said Scots chiefs face many of the same problems as the Met, including a failure to deal swiftly and ruthlessly with rogue officers. Malone said: “Police Scotland has just as much to answer for as the Met when it comes to bad behaviour within the force, misconduct being mishandled, and rogue officers.
“I’m horrified any member of the public might be lulled into thinking the behaviour that is prevalent in the Met doesn’t happen here.
“The unacceptable levels of sexism, misogyny and bullying suffered by female officers shines a light on the culture within Police Scotland.
“The force has always had a reluctance to deal with the perpetrators of such behaviour, who are often allowed to remain in post or are even promoted, while victimised colleagues are bullied out of jobs they love.
“Their culture is all about preserving the reputation of the force rather than tackling rogue officers.”
Her response comes after the Scottish Police Federation defended Police Scotland’s record after Tuesday’s damning report by Baroness Louise Casey. She found the Met failed to protect the public from officers like rapist Wayne Couzens who murdered Sarah Everard, 33, in 2021, and branded the force institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.
In a landmark review published in 2020, former lord advocate Dame Elish Angiolini urged the Scottish Government to overhaul how complaints against Police Scotland are investigated and warned the national force must address issues around sexism and racism. A number of cases of misogyny and sexist bullying of officers have since emerged.
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, who has repeatedly voiced his determination to deal with the problems, is to retire this summer, two years before the end of his contract.
After the Casey review was published last week, Scottish Police Federation General Secretary David Kennedy told the BBC the report on the Met was horrendous but that “Scotland was not in the same area as the Met”.
However, when The Post spoke to Kennedy on Friday, he said: “The Casey report highlighted serious concerns around the Met and the behaviour of some of their officers.
“While Police Scotland are not in the same area as the Met, they are not immune. All our police forces reflect society, and unfortunately it is not always the good things that are reflected.
“However, since several high-profile cases have come to light, the force have been doing their best to change the culture that existed. From the dealings we have been having with them, it is clear they are doing their best to change.”
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