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Amnesty: New Police Scotland chief needs urgent plan to tackle discrimination

Amnesty International has said that Police Scotland’s new Chief Constable must set out an ‘urgent detailed and measurable’ plan to tackle institutional discrimination.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell will take up post on Monday as head of the UK’s second largest force.

 In May, outgoing Chief Constable, Sir Iain Livingstone, branded the force ‘institutionally racist and discriminatory’, and a review group investigating internal culture cited employee’s first-hand accounts of racism, sexism and homophobia.

Amnesty also warned much more needs to be done to ‘close the gap between rhetoric and implementation’ around Police Scotland’s claims to be a rights-based force.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Nations and Regions, said:

“I wish Chief Constable Farrell well as she takes up post, particularly as the first woman to lead Police Scotland, the UK’s second largest force.

“Globally, the police system is blighted by racial and discriminatory practices. Elsewhere in the UK, systemic racial discrimination has been evidenced in stop and search, Taser use, gang profiling and strip searching of minors.

“There have been positive steps in Scotland, but there is still a huge task ahead.

“The statement made by Sir Iain was honest and stark, but reflected what many already knew and have experienced first-hand. The Chief Constable will need to set out what action she intends to take without delay. A plan that is detailed and measurable, with clear transparency and accountability mechanisms, is crucial.

“There will be opportunities for learning in the coming months, from Police Scotland’s own independent review group and evidence given to the public inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh - but there is already sufficient evidence of a grave problem, for the incoming Chief Constable to set out in detail how she intends to tackle it.”


Letter to Chief Constable Farrell _0.pdf
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