Police Scotland launch review of policy which lets male rapists identify as women

23 February 2022, 16:09

Women protesting outside Holyrood about government plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act
Women protesting outside Holyrood about government plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act. Picture: Alamy

By Gina Davidson

Scotland's police will review a policy which means male rapists are officially recorded as being women if they "identify as female" after an outcry by women's organisations.

Police Scotland had come under fire in December when it said it would record the sex of criminals in line with how they “present or self-declare”, even in cases of rape despite UK law stating that male genitilia is required to commit the offence.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling condemned the move on Twitter saying: “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” alongside a link to an article about the policy.

The force had previously defended the policy, claiming concerns were “hypothetical” because the circumstances had never arisen.

However today the chairman of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), Martyn Evans, said the force was “rightly reviewing internal policies and recording procedures” around sex and gender.

In papers to the SPA board meeting he said there had been discussions between Police Scotland the Scottish Government over the matter.

The government is expected to bring forward a Bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act which would bring into legal force the concept of self-identification of sex, which has prompted concerns about the potential impact on women, single-sex spaces, and the collection of vital data, including crime statistics.

These have been dismissed by LGBT+ campaigners who say the reform is needed to stop an "intrusive" process for transgender people to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate, which replaces their birth certificate.

Mr Evans said that the SPA, which scrutinises Police Scotland, had been “clear that it expects Police Scotland to comply with all relevant legislation and professional guidance in relation to sex and gender data recording”.

He added that he believed the force made “every effort” to do so.

It is understood the review will be carried out by Police Scotland’s data governance board.

The Scottish Prisons Service is also carrying out a review of its policy which allows male prisoners who self-identifiy as women to be housed in the female prison estate.

When asked about the policy in December, Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham told a Holyrood committee that a case “in which somebody who had committed an act of rape was biologically a man but self-identified as a woman” had never happened in Scotland.

He was unable to say whether the complainer would be informed if an alleged rapist identified as female.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police Scotland continually reviews its policies and practices, particularly as government guidance and legislation develops and is introduced.

"Police Scotland continues to monitor the progress made by the Scottish Government in relation to the Gender Recognition Act."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Sir Ian McKellen will not re-appear in West End play as veteran actor, 85, gives health update after falling from stage

Sir Ian McKellen will not re-appear in West End play as veteran actor, 85, gives health update after falling from stage

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

Last person to speak to missing Jay Slater claims he has been kidnapped and ‘something sinister is going on’

Breaking
Travis Scott

Travis Scott arrested for 'disorderly intoxication and trespassing'

Serbia threatens to quit Euros over Croatia and Albania fans' 'kill the Serbs' chanting - throwing England's group into chaos

Serbia threatens to quit Euros over Croatia and Albania fans' 'kill the Serbs' chants - throwing England's group into chaos

Nigel Farage described Just Stop Oil's latest stunt as 'appalling'

'Akin to domestic terrorism': Farage slams Just Stop Oil's latest 'appalling' stunts after Taylor Swift's jet targeted

Exclusive
Jennifer Kowalski and Cole Macdonald

Revealed: Eco-activists who targeted Taylor Swift's jet unmasked as ex-civil servant and Palestine protester

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

Jay Slater, missing Brit in Tenerife, rang friend to say he'd 'cut his leg on cactus' and 'didn't know where he was'

Sir Ian McKellen is recuperating following a fall from the stage

Sir Ian McKellen to miss remainder of Player Kings’ London dates following fall

The Bank of England has given its latest updates on interest rates.

Blow for borrowers as Bank of England holds interest rates again at 5.25%

Two protesters bailed after Stonehenge sprayed with orange paint

Two eco-activists bailed after Stonehenge sprayed with orange paint as bosses say 'no visible damage' to monument

German police

'Isis terrorist sleeper agent' arrested in Germany near Euro 2024 host city

The court ruling could threaten the future of oil and gas projects.

Future of new oil and gas projects in UK thrown into doubt after landmark Supreme Court ruling

Exclusive
Arthur Pendragon has condemned the attack on Stonehenge

'Like targeting a cathedral': Britain's 'top druid' condemns Just Stop Oil's 'completely dismaying' Stonehenge attack

Just Stop Oil targeted Taylor Swift's jet in VIP airfield - but failed to find it

Just Stop Oil activists fail to find Taylor Swift's jet despite targeting it in VIP airfield attack

Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West

Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Prince Andrew is planning to leave the Royal Lodge to his daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, according to reports.

Prince Andrew ‘plans to leave Royal Lodge home’ to daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie ‘after his death’