Police officers have been allowed to work despite no records of checks on their backgrounds or any past convictions, a watchdog has revealed.
A review of the force’s vetting procedures also found there was no requirement for vetting of officers and staff to be repeated beyond recruitment checks.
Craig Naylor, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, said this represented a significant risk and called for all personnel to be re-vetted at least every decade.
The review was commissioned after a string of controversies hit policing.
The Mail revealed last year that hundreds of Scottish officers had been reported to bosses over sexual assault and other serious misconduct claims.
Scottish Tory justice spokesman Russell Findlay said: ‘In the wake of numerous cases of serious wrongdoing, and to maintain public confidence, SNP ministers must ensure that the force has sufficient resources to conduct these vitally important background checks.’
Commenting on his review, Mr Naylor said: ‘Significant steps have been taken… to provide assurance that officers and staff working within policing have been checked and any risks identified highlighted and managed appropriately.’
The report found ‘not all serving police officers and police staff have a vetting record held on Core-Vet’ (the Police Scotland vetting system).
It did not disclose how many lacked records. Police Scotland figures last year showed that 410 sexual allegations had been recorded over four years and scores of officers had resigned or retired during inquiries into their behaviour – meaning they avoided any professional sanction.
This year former Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone claimed Police Scotland was institutionally misogynistic.
Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain urged Police Scotland to ‘do far more to prevent potentially dangerous individuals holding positions of authority’.
Deputy Chief Constable Alan Speirs said a re-vetting programme is being introduced and all officers and civilian staff currently working for Police Scotland have been vetted – even if there are no records of it in some cases.
First Minister Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government will give ‘full consideration’ to the report ‘in terms of potential legislation’.