According to a recent report, Police Scotland has spent nearly £5 million to resolve legal claims over the last 12 months.
Rhona Malone, a former weapons officer, received nearly £1 million in compensation from the force after an employment tribunal discovered a “horrific” misogynistic culture there.
However, that made up less than a quarter of all the settlement amounts made in the fiscal year 2021–2022, which also included more than £2 million in employer liability claims.
According to data obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, an additional £800,000 was set aside for “mobile liability” and £1,683,240 was paid on “public liability.”
According to a Police Scotland spokesperson, the most current data had been inflated by backdated claims from prior years.
However the Lib Dems justice spokesman, Liam McArthur, said the funds represented a significant financial drain amid worries over funding cuts to the force.
He underlined the worries of police chiefs that the Scottish Government’s budget cuts might result in up to 4,400 officer and staff positions being lost over the course of the next four years.
He cited police chiefs’ concerns up to 4,400 officer and staff jobs could be lost over the next four years as a result of Scottish Government budget cuts.
“At the last election, the SNP pledged to protect the police resource budget. Instead, they are planning scything cuts,” he said.
“This speaks volumes for the spending priorities of the SNP/Green government.
“These are significant sums of money that are being paid out.
“Police bosses and the Scottish Government must ensure that legal claims are not adding even more pressure to an already squeezed policing budget.”
Ms Malone successfully pursued a victimisation claim against the force last year.
The tribunal decided that an armed response vehicles (ARV) unit had a “absolute boys’ club” mentality and added that a “committed and promising” officer’s legitimate concerns had been disregarded.
All compensation claims, according to a Police Scotland representative, are evaluated “case-by-case.”
“Our officers and employees work in difficult situations around the country to maintain community safety and enhance the quality of life for the general public,” they continued.
A few cases involving incidences from prior years can be blamed for a sizable amount of this year’s increase in compensation payouts.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a matter for Police Scotland. The Scottish Government expects all public bodies to deal with compensation claims with careful regard to the public purse.”
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