Police considered prosecuting a Sunday newspaper after it published images of people dressed as Nazis at a fancy dress party, it has been claimed.
The Sunday Herald reported that Police Scotland officers discussed the idea after it printed the “shocking” images of fancy dress partygoers dressed as Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun at an event held by a loyalist flute band in an Orange Order Hall.
Police Scotland is investigating a complaint against an officer who allegedly refused to take details from a woman who called with concerns about the photograph, which also featured two children dressed in rags branded with a yellow star similar to the one Jewish people were forced to wear by the Nazis.
The unnamed woman claims that the officer instead urged her to complain about the Glasgow-based Herald for printing pictures of the party, adding a second officer also raised concerns about the publication of the images.
According to the Herald, the woman said: “The officer mentioned at least three times during the call that the Sunday Herald could be prosecuted for publishing the photos – in fact he kept telling me to complain about the newspaper – and then an inspector mentioned it last Monday when she called to discuss the case.
“She made a point of saying the possibility of prosecuting the Sunday Herald had been mentioned throughout the investigation.”
The complainant alleged the officer who took the call told her “people can dress up in whatever they want” and said she was “easily offended” and “over-sensitive”.
She claimed he refused to take details of her complaint, insisting that there was no criminality.
The woman, who has now notified her MP and MSP, said: “An inspector who is investigating my complaint against the officer said she had listened to the call and was horrified.
“She said his attitude was inexcusable. The matter had been referred to her as an incivility matter, but having listened to the call she is escalating it to a misconduct matter.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland did not respond to allegations that officers made comments about the Sunday Herald.
She said: “The complaint against the officer is currently ongoing and once concluded an assessment of conduct will be considered and progressed accordingly.”
When asked about the investigation into people who dressed up the police spokeswoman added: “The matter is being further assessed in terms of whether any offences have been committed as a result of the publication of the article and its contents. If criminality is established, a further report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”
Sunday Herald editor Neil Mackay said: “We wrote a very strong editorial on this issue at the weekend in which we said a free press is the cornerstone of a free society.
“This kind of behaviour is very chilling, unsettling and disturbing in any democracy.”