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Police Scotland to check national databases as vetting of officers increased

Vetting of police officers north of the border is to be stepped up, Police Scotland has said (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Vetting of police officers north of the border is to be stepped up, Police Scotland has said (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Police Scotland will check staff against national databases as it steps up the vetting of officers after it was revealed one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders was a serving policeman in London.

After former Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick admitted earlier this week to committing dozens of rape and sex offences during his time in the force, constabularies in England and Wales had been asked to check UK-wide databases to “identify anyone who has slipped through the net”.

Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said on Friday her force would do the same to “further enhance our ability to safeguard our values and standards”.

Ms Taylor said the force was “resolute in our determination to address sexism, misogyny and violence against women, within our organisation and across society”.

“Police Scotland has already strengthened vetting measures, introducing an additional check for new recruits just before they are sworn into office and we will commence a rolling programme to review vetting decisions this year,” she said.

“We have recently invested in our vetting team and take relevant action where concerns emerge.

“To further enhance our ability to safeguard our values and standards, all officers and staff will be checked against national systems, in line with work being taken forward in England and Wales.”

Pc David Carrick
Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick who pleaded guilty to 49 offences (Hertfordshire Police/PA)

Police Scotland is the country’s second largest force after the Met, and employs 23,000 officers and staff.

Carrick, 48, was found to have committed gross misconduct after admitting 49 criminal charges, including 24 counts of rape against 12 women over an 18-year period.

He was sacked as a Pc by the Met on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling Carrick’s abuse of power was “truly sickening”, adding “the police must address the failings in this case, restore public confidence and ensure the safety of women and girls”.