Police Scotland plans to commission independent support to help it better understand the experiences of minority groups in the service, the Chief Constable has said.
It comes after an independent review by Dame Elish Angiolini that looked at complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues in relation to policing and to make recommendations for improvements.
She said she was “deeply concerned” by the experience of Police Scotland’s black, Asian and minority ethnic officers, some of whom said they had experienced discrimination in the course of their duties, as had some female and LGBTI officers.
Dame Elish recommended an independent review into equality in Police Scotland.
Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “Racism and discrimination of any kind is deplorable and unacceptable, and I utterly condemn it.
“It has no place in society, and no place in the police service of Scotland.”
Speaking at the Scottish Police Authority meeting, which is being held virtually on Wednesday, he welcomed the review by Dame Elish.
He said: “I therefore agree with the recommendation from Dame Elish in her recent report that there should be a review of equality matters with the support of an external individual or agency to accelerate the progress already being made in the police service.
“With the support I hope of the authority I intend to commission additional, independent, and expert support to work with policing in Scotland to better understand the experiences of minority groups in the service and to ensure appropriate support is available where it is required.”
He added: “We know issues around prejudice and discrimination permeate all elements of Scottish society.
“But I think it is vital that, given policing’s unique status and relationship with the public we serve and significance in civic life, the service strives to be an exemplar and to take leadership in driving change for everyone in society.”
Mr Livingstone said it is “crucial” the culture of Police Scotland is welcoming and inclusive to all and that “all our people are supported to thrive and flourish so that we fully reflect and represent our communities”.