SCOTLAND’S top police officer faces being hauled before the courts unless a catalogue of defects plaguing the country’s crumbling stations can be fixed, it has been claimed.

Scottish Green MSP John Finnie – a former police officer – said there had been “a singular failure of police management”.

He spoke out after the Scottish Police Federation claimed some of the current police estate is “unfit for human habitation” following a series of inspections.

Mr Finnie said: “Lochboisdale Police Station was previously closed by the Northern Constabulary as a result of rat infestation, while a former Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police was summoned to appear at Airdrie Sheriff Court for repeated health and safety failures with buildings.

“Police officers deserve a decent working environment which complies with health and safety legislation.

"The Chief Constable [Iain Livingstone] must take urgent action to rectify the unacceptable condition of some of the police estate, or he may well find himself in front of a court in the not too distant future.”

The SPF uncovered a raft of problems in Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire following several “deep dive” inspections, with Oban police station branded the worst in Scotland.

General secretary Calum Steele said it was “almost difficult to put into words just how horrific some of the conditions were that our officials found”.

Officers in Oban had used sheets of paper to cover holes in the building’s damp walls, mushrooms were found growing on towels in Dunoon and a long-standing rat infestation was discovered at Lochgilphead station.

Meanwhile, accommodation for officers was "similar to that supplied by slum landlords", and police were also found to have salvaged office chairs out of dumpsters to replace broken ones.

The SPF called on police chiefs to immediately close Oban and Lochgilphead police stations and shut the accommodation in Dunoon, Campbeltown and Lochgilphead.

Elsewhere, it said vehicle shortages saw one officer in Clydebank’s rape and domestic abuse units dropped off at a victim’s house before the woman had to drive him back to the station as no alternative was available.

The offender management unit had access to only one dedicated vehicle which they have to use to monitor more than 100 registered sex offenders in the community.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf told MSPs he is meeting with Mr Livingstone and Susan Deacon, chair of the Scottish Police Authority, on Wednesday.

Raising the issue in Holyrood, Mr Finnie, who served with the Lothian and Borders Police and Northern Constabulary before the creation of Police Scotland, insisted action must be taken.

He asked whether Mr Yousaf would “take the opportunity to say to the Chief Constable tomorrow, and indeed the police authority, that inevitably this is going to end up in someone – the Chief Constable – in a sheriff court if we don’t resolve the deficiencies of the police estate very soon”.

Mr Yousaf replied: “I think before we rush to that particular stage, that particular step, I know that the Chief Constable enjoys a very positive and constructive relationship with the Scottish Police Federation, and therefore I’ve got no doubt of his commitment to try to resolve this issue as best he possibly can.

“I certainly have confidence in the Chief Constable and indeed the chair of the SPA to work with staff associations as best they possibly can.”

Mr Yousaf said the allocation of police resources is a matter for the force to determine.

But he said the SNP is protecting its resource budget in real terms in every year of the current Parliament – delivering a boost of £100 million by 2021.

He said extra cash will be discussed during future spending reviews.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor previously said work was undertaken "immediately" to remedy concerns raised by the SPF last week.

She said: “A small number of officers affected by property issues raised in Dunoon have already been moved to temporary accommodation while improvement works are carried out.

“A range of options for Oban Police Station are being examined following HMICS recommendations last year.

“The policing estate has been built up over the last century and we acknowledge some buildings fail to match current or future needs.

“We are prioritising the capital budget we have been allocated across a multitude of competing demands to achieve as much as we can, as quickly as we can.”