Scottish Police should be more proactive in detailing how it will tackle violence against women and girls and discrimination within its ranks, His Majesty’s chief inspector for police has said.
In his annual report published on Wednesday, Craig Naylor, HM chief inspector of constabulary in Scotland (HMCICS), praised Police Scotland and the retiring chief constable Sir Iain Livingstone for their work.
However, he urged both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to do more in addressing steps they have taken to tackle institutional discrimination, as well as violence against women and girls within their own ranks and wider society.
He asked how they are learning from complaints received and how they are committed to equality, diversity and respect.
Mr Naylor praised Sir Iain for admitting in May institutional discrimination within Police Scotland and said he will allow the incoming chief constable to continue improving these issues within the force.
HM Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) scrutinises police work in Scotland where necessary.
In the latest report, Mr Naylor said both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority had worked hard to continue to serve and protect communities during a challenging year.
He highlighted the challenges Police Scotland had faced in the past 12 months and reflected that many of the issues undermining policing in England and Wales had touched on Scotland.
He said: “We are not insulated from events elsewhere and there have been continued challenges to the legitimacy of policing from many angles.
“In Scotland, there have been questions about budget, culture, staffing levels, public expectation and a noticeable rise in the impact of dealing with those experiencing poor mental health.”
He added: “A series of negative reports and reviews across England and Wales, whose findings have not been replicated in Scotland, have the ability to impact on the trust and confidence in policing north of the border.”
Mr Naylor also credited Police Scotland for its work during Operation Unicorn following the late Queen’s death last year.
Finally, he wished Sir Iain a “long, healthy and happy retirement”.
He added: “His six-year tenure began at a time of turmoil and uncertainty and he leaves the service as one which is regarded as world leading in its ability to deal with everything from community issues, major and complex crimes, political challenges and major events.”
Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority were contacted for comment.