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Female police numbers in Scotland reach record high

image captionWomen now account for more than a quarter of staff in the police

Scotland has a record number of female officers serving in the ranks of the country's eight police forces, according to the latest figures.

Women now account for more than one in four (26.8%) of the entire police workforce.

The figures also showed there had been a significant rise in women entering the police since 1998, when just 15.3% of officers were female.

Two of Scotland's eight police forces currently have women as their head.

Information from the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, in Kincardine, Fife, also showed that women now represented 32% of its new recruits, a level achieved for the past five years.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Scotland's police do a fantastic job in the communities in which they work and it is extremely encouraging to see that the officers increasingly reflect the society that they serve.

"We are already fortunate to have two female chief constables in Scotland and the increasing ranks of female officers is helping to bring a different perspective to policing, be that in dealing with difficult suspects, or skilled counselling of the victims of crime.

"Scotland is leading the way in this regard, and I know that forces have worked extremely hard to make their working practices more family friendly for all officers, male or female."

Brenda Armstrong, of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: "The story is not just about Scotland having achieved the highest percentage but more that year-on-year the forces individually have all demonstrated an increase in the number of women officers to achieve this.

"This demonstrates a sustained performance across all forces."

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