WOMEN'S rights campaigners have voiced concern after only three out of the top 25 posts within Scotland's new single police force were awarded to females.

Engender, the equal rights charity, said it was alarmed at the apparent gender imbalance, with women only accounting for 12% of the key posts.

But Police Scotland says appointments were made on the basis of "experience in policing and skills and not on the basis of gender".

Loading article content

Only one of the four deputy chief constable posts in Police Scotland has been taken up by a woman – Rose Fitzpatrick from the Metropolitan Police.

Kate Thomson, of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, and Jeanette McDiarmid, of the Lothian and Borders police force, are among 14 local commanders.

Niki Kandirikirira, director of Engender, said: "Although we don't know what the application process has been like, the lack of women implies that there's something wrong in the way women are progressing within the police. There appears to be something systematically wrong and the force should be trying to work out what that is so that it can address it."