Number of female police officers reaches new peak

THE number of female officers serving in Scotland’s police forces is at its highest level since before the advent of devolution, according to data released last week.

Ten years ago the number of women serving with the police nationwide stood at 2,507 but this has now increased to 4,674, 51 of whom are in the Scottish Borders, ranking from Police Constable to Chief Inspector.

As the world prepared to mark the 100th International Women’s Day last Tuesday, a Scottish Government analysis of the police workforce showed the proportion of female police now stands at 26.8 per cent of all officers - the highest level since 1998, the first year for which data on gender was collected in this way by HMICS.

Meanwhile, information from the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan showed that women now represent 32 per cent of its new recruits, a level achieved for the past five years.

Addressing the figures, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill commented: “Scotland’s police do a fantastic job in the communities in which they work, and it is extremely encouraging to see that the officers increasingly reflect the society that they serve.

“As well as delivering a thousand additional police officers in Scotland’s communities, we also have a more diverse police force.

“We are already fortunate to have two female chief constables in Scotland, and the increasing ranks of female officers is helping to bring a different perspective to policing, be that in dealing with difficult suspects, or skilled counselling of the victims of crime.

“Scotland is leading the way in this regard, and I know that forces have worked extremely hard to make their working practices more family friendly for all police officers, male or female.”