THE head of Scotland's police force has condemned the actions of a Metropolitan Police officer who was revealed as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

Chief constable Iain Livingstone described the actions of PC David Carrick as “absolutely outrageous and despicable conduct from an individual who should have never been in the police service”.

Carrick, 48, attacked at least a dozen women over an 18-year period throughout his career with the Met, using his position to gain their trust and scare them into staying silent.

Livingstone, speaking after he was knighted at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Wednesday, said his officers and staff “really value our close relationship with the public of Scotland, we have a very close and genuine relationship”.

He added: “Police officers are drawn from the public, the public are the police and the police are the public and nowhere is that truer [than] in Scotland, but we need to earn that trust and that’s something we do every single day.”

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His comments came as the force continues an attempted murder investigation after a police officer was hit by a car driven at them in the Scottish capital.

In addition, Police Scotland revealed that six of its officers were attacked in three separate incidents within 24 hours between January 12 and 13.

Livingstone vowed those behind the attacks would be brought to justice.

“Police officers come to work to serve the public, to do the right thing and to keep people safe, and any attack on a police officer, any attack on anybody who is serving the public, is utterly unacceptable, outrageous,” he said.

“We will investigate them thoroughly, we will bring offenders to justice and hold them to account.

“The safety of officers and staff, the safety of people who serve the public, is of paramount importance.”