Police ‘take reports of sexual offending seriously’ amid officer investigations

Police Scotland has said it takes “every report about sexual offending seriously” after it emerged nearly 90 officers have been investigated following allegations against them in the last three years.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by the Daily Record newspaper revealed 86 officers have been investigated in relation to criminal allegations of sexual offences – both on and off duty – between April 2016 and March this year.

Of that number, 36 officers are subject to live investigations while 16 officers have been charged in relation to a sexual offence.

Eleven officers faced allegations made by colleagues while 74 officers had allegations made by members of the public.

One officer had an allegation made by both a colleague and member of the public, according to the FoI request, which has been published on the Police Scotland website for disclosure reasons.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “We take every report about sexual offending seriously and incidents reported to us will be thoroughly investigated, no matter who is involved.

“The vast majority of our officers and staff conduct themselves to the high standards we and the public expect, however when we do receive reports of criminality involving our employees they will be rigorously investigated in the same way any other report would be.

“Where there is evidence of criminality, the circumstances will be reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as well as to the professional standards department.”