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Police Scotland advised to roll out equality training for all staff

The force has been advised to train all staff in equality and diversity following a recent employment tribunal.

Last year, former PC Rhona Malone successfully pursued a victimisation claim which resulted in the force paying out almost £950,000.

The firearms officer said she had been subjected to a series of sexist comments and behaviour, with the tribunal finding that the Armed Response Vehicles unit was an “absolute boy’s club culture”.

As a consequence CC Livingstone committed to commission an external police service to carry out an independent review to make recommendations for Police Scotland.

PSNI have today published their report, recommending that all staff complete equality training.

The report, by Mark Hamilton, Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, also “strongly” recommends that the structures, recruitment and selection for the firearms unit are reviewed “to ensure that they are fully compatible with equality legislation, and that any barriers to selection are addressed.

“There are identifiable individuals who are in need of this training, although it would do no harm to refresh all.”

It noted, however, that this may not necessarily resolve the culture, but that it is an important step to address the issues.

The HR department has been advised to review its standard operating procedures for dealing with grievances, following the fact that a senior member of the HR team in Police Scotland had recommended that Ms Malone’s grievance be dealt with by someone of chief inspector rank, outside of the force. It has been suggested that a junior barrister could undertake this.

An officer then allocated the grievance to herself to deal with despite meeting neither of these criteria. It was the first grievance the officer had dealt with.

Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “The chief constable has provided a personal apology to Ms Malone for the serious issues highlighted in the employment tribunal judgment, including Police Scotland’s poor response when a dedicated officer raised legitimate concerns.

“The chief constable has also underlined his personal commitment to leading change in policing in Scotland which drives equality and inclusion to improve the experiences of all women, including our own officers and staff.”

Other recommendations within the report include ensuring mediation is only conducted by trained mediators and identifying the reasons why females are underrepresented in the firearms unit.

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