NICOLA Sturgeon has called on Scottish men to challenge misogynistic behaviour as she praised a female firearms officer’s bravery for pursuing an employment tribunal against Police Scotland.

Rhona Malone’s case was brought forward after a senior officer said two female armed officers should not be deployed together, with the tribunal finding evidence of a sexist “boys club” culture in the force’s armed response unit.

Malone’s claim of victimisation was upheld, but a sex discrimination claim was dismissed. Police Scotland has apologised.

The outcome of the tribunal was raised at FMQs on Thursday by Labour MSP Daniel Johnson who said the judgement was “damning” and that the culture within the firearms unit was “horrific”.

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He added that although he had respect for the work of the police, he had concerns that Malone’s experience was not unique.

He said: “In recent years I’ve been approached by female officers raising issues regarding culture, out of hours behaviour, deployment rotas and equipment, their complaints often being lost in a system that is difficult and stressful to navigate.

“Ultimately leading to those officers resigning from the force rather than pursuing the complaints.

“I know Rhona McLean [Malone], I’ve spoken to her, so can I ask the First Minister to join me in commending her for her bravery in pursuing her complaint, and in light of the Sarah Everard issues, does she feel that there is the need for a fuller investigation and inquiry into the culture and practice within Police Scotland regarding sexism and misogyny?”

The National:

Daniel Johnson raised the tribunal's findings at FMQs on Thursday

The First Minister said that the findings of the tribunal were “deeply troubling” and paint a picture that should “trouble all of us”.

Sturgeon commended Malone for her bravery in pursuing the case, and said that it was important no assumptions were made that her experience was an isolated incident.

She added that no organisation should be considered immune from the “misogynistic culture that pervades our whole society”

She said: “So the findings of this tribunal must be taken seriously, and I welcome the response from Police Scotland yesterday to accept the findings and express its seriousness in addressing issues.

“More generally though this is a further reminder, and there have been too many painful reminders of this in recent weeks, that on the spectrum of unacceptable experiences on the part of women, and it is a spectrum that goes from inappropriate comments through to discrimination in work place, through to violence and serious sexual assault, behind all of the behaviours, experiences rather on that spectrum, lies unacceptable behaviour on the part of men.”

The First Minister said the problem has to be addressed and “has to be rectified”.

She continued: “Now I am old enough and have seen like all women at some stage of that spectrum have experienced this over the years.

“So I don’t say this lightly because it has taken too long to get to this point, but I hope we are finally at a watershed moment and a turning point where we stop expecting women to fix these problems and we put the full glare where it belongs on men who behave in a deeply unacceptable and misogynistic way.

“And I say to all men in this chamber and all men across the country, challenge it if it’s on the part of other men that you know, challenge your own behaviour and then lets collectively as a society turn the page and turn the corner so that women can live free of the fear of harassment, abuse, intimidation, violence, and in the worst cases, death.”

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It comes as Boris Johnson said earlier this week that he does not support making misogyny a hate crime because it would overload the police and that forces need to focus on “real crimes”.

He came under fire for the comments, including from Justice Secretary Keith Brown.

The SNP MSP said that he was poised to act “swiftly” on the recommendations of the misogyny working group, if they back making misogyny a hate crime under the current legislation.