Scotland's papers: Sex offender 'on the run'

The Daily Record hits out at police chiefs who are refusing to tell the public any details about a sex offender who went missing more than three weeks ago, other than that they disappeared from Scotland some time last month and are still at large somewhere across the UK.

Meanwhile, The Scotsman says Police Scotland has warned it could be forced to "dramatically reduce" officer numbers to meet the "significant cost pressure" associated with scrapping the public sector pay cap.

The warning comes as Scotland was hit by an "epidemic of phone and online sex crime", with girls under 16 making up three quarters of its victims, according to The Herald.

Under the headline One Serious Crime Every 30 Minutes, the Scottish Daily Mail says "damning" figures have revealed that one violent or sexual crime is reported every half hour and claims that the SNP has failed to include nearly 300,000 offences in the overall crime tally.

Likewise, the Daily Express also focuses on the latest statistics, declaring it Good News For Scots Crooks after Police Scotland's crime clear-up rate fell to the "lowest level since the formation of the single force".

In other news, The National writes that Theresa May has given up on the idea of having her "Brexit cake and eating it", quoting European Council President Donald Tusk, who visited Number 10 on Tuesday.

The Times also focuses on Brexit with claims that Britain is fighting a "£10bn demand" to fund the rising pensions bill for retired "Eurocrats" after Brexit.

Economic experts quoted in the Daily Telegraph have warned that Scotland is facing public funding challenges for decades to come, with spending on many key areas set to fall by almost 20%.

The i newspaper also leads with the story and says people's satisfaction with Scotland's key public services has fallen to its lowest level since records began a decade ago.

Schools in Dundee are lacking teachers in vital subjects, reports The Courier, which says that the local council has failed to fill more than a third of maths teacher vacancies at secondary schools in the city.

Recovering gambling addict, Hearts footballer Kyle Lafferty, has revealed he hit rock bottom when he hurled abuse at betting staff for closing his account, reveals The Scottish Sun.

Like many of Wednesday's front pages, the Daily Star features a tribute to Coronation Street star Liz Dawn, who has died at the age of 77 after a battle with emphysema.

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