Seventeen officers from Lothian and Borders Police are facing misconduct inquiries over racist and sexist emails sent on the internal police system.
One officer has been suspended and another four police staff are also part of the ongoing inquiry.
All of those involved are from the G division covering the Scottish Borders.
Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly said it was a “huge disappointment” such emails had been circulated on the police system.
“I consider this to be a very serious matter and have instructed that a 51-year-old police officer is suspended and that further inquiries should be carried out,” he said.
“Initial work has identified another 20 individuals – 16 officers and four police staff – who appear to be involved in this issue.
“They have been spoken to and advised that they are subject to misconduct inquiries.”
He said that while inquiries were ongoing it would inappropriate to comment further on the situation.
However, he added: “The vast majority of Lothian and Borders police employees are dedicated to their communities and act at all times with the utmost respect.
“Unfortunately there are occasions when a very small minority fall well below the standards we expect.
“I would like to reassure the public that when this happens we consider their behaviour unacceptable and deal with the issue with the seriousness it deserves.”
He said all staff received “extensive training” and there were “clear guidelines” in place on email and internet use.
He said the force was now in consultation with partners and representatives of minority groups regarding what additional measures might be appropriate.
News published on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-21591295