Damning report reveals police ignored 'red flag' warnings which could have stopped serial rapist officer

Former officer and serial rapist Wayne Scott was jailed in 2013 Credit: Cleveland Police

A serial rapist former police officer's inappropriate sexual behaviour was allowed to "flourish" under a "prevailing culture of indifference" within the force, a damning report revealed today.

Wayne Scott, who served with Cleveland Police in Hartlepool and Stockton, was jailed for 19 years in 2013 after being convicted of the rape and attempted rape of a woman.

He had also admitted raping a different woman seven times over a number of years, as well as two common assaults, one sexual assault and two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual touching.

But his colleagues continually ignored a number of warning signs, a formal inquiry found - with some putting it down as just "Wayne being Wayne".

The force's Det Ch Supt Peter McPhillips carried out the inquiry under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The final report criticised Cleveland Police for "a prevailing culture of indifference" towards Scott's behaviour, and an "unwillingness to challenge or report his actions".

Scott worked for Cleveland Police in Hartlepool and Stockton Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Read: Exclusive: Wayne Scott victim speaks out

Other colleagues, many of whom were victims themselves, were too "intimidated" to challenge him or make senior staff aware of what was going on.

The report cites 16 "red flags" which should have been spotted and identified as making him "an individual of concern" who needed to be watched.

These included:

  • Three cases of alleged sexual assault, including one just a year after he joined the force

  • In 2007, another officer learned that he had received love letters from three 10-year-old girls who said he had cuddled them and taken them to Seaton Carew for ice cream. It was not reported

  • In 2008, Scott transferred from Hartlepool to Stockton to help with his personal childcare. There, he bragged about having sex while on duty and asked female colleagues whether they wanted to play "the rape game"

  • There were numerous instances of inappropriate sexual language in front of colleagues

  • Talk of his sex life, including fantasies

  • Attempts to humiliate and bully mainly female staff but also some male staff

  • Visits to the home address of his mother - while on duty - to use a computer in order to access a dating website

  • Scott's misuse of police computer systems

  • A sexual relationship he conducted while on duty

If some or any of these had been picked up, the report said, some of his offending may have been prevented.

Scott was arrested in 2011 Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

It finishes by making 15 recommendations, including commissioning a report to assess whether female staff are subjected to unacceptable language, attitudes or behaviour, and ensuring all staff within the force be briefed on the case.

Dept Ch Cons Iain Spittal has apologised to the victims of Scott's actions, and the force's Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said there were more improvements needed.