SNP must order Police Scotland to record all rapists as men, say Tory MSPs

Friday 27 January 2023

By Lucy Ashton

SNP ministers have been urged today to order Police Scotland to record anyone charged or convicted of rape as male – regardless of whether they subsequently seek to change gender.

The Scottish Conservatives have made the call in the wake of the high-profile case of a double rapist, who, after being charged, chose to self-ID as a woman.

Adam Graham, who now goes by the name of Isla Bryson, was sent to Cornton Vale women’s prison earlier this week after being found guilty – and was only transferred to a male prison on Thursday afternoon in the wake of a public and media outcry.

Police Scotland deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham previously told the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee that the gender ID of those who come before the police was based on how they self-declare, although he added he was not then [December 2021] aware of a case of someone accused of rape self-identifying as a female.

FM Nicola Sturgeon, Tory MSP Russell Findlay and Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham.

Current guidance also states that a criminal’s sex can be changed on the Criminal History System for Scotland, which is used for crime statistics, if the offender produces a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay says the SNP Government must give Police Scotland “unequivocal direction” that rapists must always be recorded as male criminals because “in law, rape can only be committed by a male”. 

The West of Scotland MSP – whose amendment to the GRR Bill preventing those charged with serious sexual offences from changing gender until the conclusion of their case was voted down by SNP, Green and Lib Dems MSPs – says that’s the very least traumatised victims deserve. 

Russell Findlay MSP said: “This horrific rape case has brought a number of issues into sharp focus. One of these is that, in law, rape can only be committed by a male. On that basis, those convicted of this crime must not only serve their sentence in a male prison, but have their crime recorded as having been committed by a male.

“This is so obvious and so basic yet only in SNP-run Scotland does it need to be said.

“How rapists subsequently choose to identify should be immaterial, the current guidance on crime recording is wrong-headed and offensive.

“The police require unequivocal direction from SNP ministers that all rapists must have their offences recorded as a male crime.

“For them to be recorded otherwise would be grossly offensive and insulting to victims and all women.

“Public fury forced Nicola Sturgeon to U-turn yesterday, only to save her own skin, and belatedly direct the Scottish Prison Service to transfer Adam Graham to a male prison. Nicola Sturgeon initially tried to blame the prison service for this scandal of her making.

“She can’t similarly pass the buck to Police Scotland here. Instead, she must show she’s on the side of victims, rather than criminals, by issuing clear guidelines on this issue.” 

Police Scotland claimed that a rapist self-identifying as a man was ‘hypothetical’ and admitted that crimes are recorded on a self-declaration basis. Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: ‘The sex and gender identification of individuals who come into contact with the police will be based on how they present or self-declare. That is entirely consistent with the values of our organisation. We do not require evidence or certification as proof of biological sex or gender identity other than a person’s self-declaration, unless that is pertinent to an investigation with which they are linked as a victim, a witness or an accused…we have never had the sort of circumstances that you have suggested in which somebody who had committed an act of rape was biologically a man but self-identified as a woman.’ (Official report, 15 December 2021, link).

Although police usually record sex on a physiological basis, it can be changed if the person produces a GRC. Guidance from the Criminal Proceedings in Scotland data states: ‘Sex in this bulletin is generally identified by a police officer based on how a person presents and recorded when a person’s details are entered into the CHS. In most cases this is based on the physiology of a person rather than self-identified gender. It is recorded for operational purposes, such as requirements for searching. A person’s sex may only be changed on the CHS if person has produced a Gender Recognition Certificate, or there has been a data entry error.’ (Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2020-21, 21 June 2022, link).

Top picture: Adam Graham, who now goes by the name of Isla Bryson, was sent to Cornton Vale women’s prison by trial judge Lord Scott.

One comment

  1. Gary Glitter is being released in February. Nothing to stop him coming to Scotland, changing his name and his sex, and then living off the radar close to or participating with a children’s school.

    And Nicola, like this Isla Bryon rapist, will argue that Gary has rights to change his name, change his sex, and lurk off radar.

    Insanity and high time ordinary people put and end to Sturgeon and her party’s nonsense. Time they were gone.

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