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Police federation slams chief constable's claim Scottish force is institutionally racist

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Scotland’s police union has accused the outgoing chief constable of making cops’ jobs harder by branding the force ­institutionally racist.

David Threadgold, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, rejected Sir Iain Livingstone’s brutal verdict. And former federation official Callum Steele condemned the statement as “extreme sabotage”.

Threadgold claimed Livingstone should have made a distinction between organisational issues and ­individual ­collective responsibility.The chair-man, whose organisation represents most of Scotland’s 16,600 officers, said: “The use of the phrase institutionally racist is one that has deeply offended and upset them and they do not recognise themselves in that way.”He went on to say: “I believe the role of police officers now in the communities will have been made more ­difficult by the chief constable.“They will hear him speaking and they will also not make that distinction.“When they are patrolling the streets this weekend, members of the public will make the link that the chief constable has said that we as an ­organisation are ­institutionally racist, and that will make our job more difficult.”Livingstone will retire in August after six years in charge of Police ­Scotland.

First Minister Humza Yousaf hailed his admission as ­“monumental” and “historic”.But Steele, who recently stepped down as general ­secretary of the police federation, accused the chief of “extreme sabotage” that will “devastate the gossamer-thin remnants of any morale in the police service”.Livingstone stressed his loyalty to colleagues while making his statement and conceded it would be “difficult to hear”.The chief added: “I am not condemning officers and staff.

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