ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has written to the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority Martyn Evans following receipt of a reply from the Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland Gary Ritchie which confirms that Police Scotland are recording sex crimes against women as having been committed by a female where the male perpetrator of rape or other sexual assault chooses to “present (or self declare)” as a woman.

Mr MacAskill had sought assurances from Police Scotland about how crimes will be recorded in the future if the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill becomes law.  However Police Scotland have confirmed that their “operational recording practice is  based on how a person presents (or self declares)”.  For example, “where a person born male who identifies as a female and does not have a full GRA and then commits rape.”

In his letter to the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority Martyn Evans, Mr MacAskill states:

“The decision to record a rape and other sexual assaults as being perpetrated by a female if the offender self identifies as such is not based on any current legal requirements. It is hugely controversial and threatening to women’s rights.

“Can I ask whether this has been considered and approved by the board? If so the enquiries and consultation made for the basis of it? and the justification for it? If it hasn’t been considered by the board can I seek assurances that it will be considered as a matter of urgency? The Scottish Police Authority has a clear duty to act in the wider public interest not simply accept any dogma in fashion with the Scottish Government.”

In a statement Mr MacAskill, MP for East Lothian states:

“ People will be aghast, as I was, to learn that, when it comes to the recording of sexual crimes against women, including rape, self-id is already a reality, despite there being no legal requirement for it.

“ Public authorities such as Police Scotland have a duty to ensure that data is recorded accurately, especially when it is an issue as sensitive as sexual violence against women.  The fact that official data could record a rise in sexual crimes being committed by women when that is not in fact the case is deeply worrying.

“ I have therefore written to the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority demanding urgent answers on whether this policy is one that has been considered and approved by the board, what consultation has taken place and what possible basis and justification there can be for this.

“ According to Police Scotland the sex of the person perpetrating rape and other sexual assaults against women is irrelevant and men are already being recorded as female if they choose to ‘present (or self declare)’ as such.  This policy threatens the welfare and safety of women and is completely unacceptable.  It should be reviewed and reversed as a matter of urgency.”