Scottish police chief admits ‘institutional’ discrimination –

Racism, sexism and discrimination are “institutional” within the Scottish police force, chief Ian Livingstone admitted on Thursday after a report on the agency’s operations was published the day before.

An independent investigation by the SPA (Scottish Police Authority), which oversees the work of the police, has highlighted racist, misogynistic and homophobic acts or comments by police officers.

“The right thing for me to do as police chief is to make it clear that there is institutionalized racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination,” Ian Livingstone said.

Police Scotland came under public scrutiny after the 2015 death in police custody of a 31-year-old black man, Sheku Bayoh, while being physically restrained by six police officers in Kirkcaldy, in the north of Scotland.

>> Read on the same topic: The confederation’s report acknowledges structural racism in Switzerland for the first time

Bullying and the “Culture of Machismo”

The SPA report also notes growing concern among the police about these practices.

“We’ve heard of people being punished for raising issues or concerns, like being kicked off teams,” he said.

Several former police officers also condemned the “culture of machismo” at work at all levels in early May.

After the London Police

The blunt admission by Scotland’s top police officer comes as other police services, including London’s, have faced similar allegations in recent years.

In March, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for “bottom-up” reform of the Metropolitan Police in London, a March report that revealed similar facts.

The latter was commissioned in 2021 following the rape and murder of a 33-year-old woman by a police officer who arrested her under false pretenses. He was sentenced to life in prison, but the case was followed by a series of scandals that deepened Britain’s crisis of faith in the police.

“I accept his findings of racism, misogyny and homophobia within the organization and systemic, managerial and cultural failings,” London’s police chief Mark Rowley said.

>> Read: Independent report claims London police are institutionally racist and sexist


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