POLICE Scotland has found itself at the centre of a storm around “male violence against women” after the victim of an assault at a gender critical protest saw the perpetrator let off with a warning.

It comes after the Women Won’t Wheesht (WWW) group held an event calling for trans women to be barred from women’s sports in Aberdeen’s Duthie Park on Sunday.

At the demonstration, Julie Marshall said she was punched in the arm and head by a counter-protester who had taken one of the WWW signs.

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On Monday, police told The National that officers in attendance at the organised protest were “made aware of an assault of a 54-year-old woman during the event and an individual, aged 26, has received a recorded police warning in connection with the incident”.

Gender critical campaigners For Women Scotland and Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, a policy analysis group with a focus on sex and gender, both wrote to Police Scotland’s outgoing chief constable raising their concerns about the handling of the assault.

Murray Blackburn Mackenzie asked police chief Iain Livingstone if officers had assessed their obligations in protecting a person’s right to “freedom of peaceful assembly” when issuing the warning.

And For Women Scotland asked if the “decision not to prosecute the assailant can be revisited”.

Marshall told the Herald she was “really, really angry” about the police’s handling of the assault, claiming: “They're just saying you can punch these women that you don't agree with and steal their property with impunity.”

Responding to the concerns raised by the gender critical campaigners, Police Scotland said they had acted “in line with the Lord Advocate’s guidelines”, which are not public.

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A spokesperson said: “As a result of an allegation of assault at the WWW rally on Sunday, a male suspect was identified and received a recorded police warning, which is in line with the Lord Advocate’s guidelines.

“Correspondence has been received by Police Scotland in relation to the outcome of this incident which is being assessed and will be responded to in due course."

Writing on Twitter, SNP MP and KC Joanna Cherry, herself a prominent gender critical campaigner, said that the concerns about the police conduct were “well placed”.

She went on: “Male violence against women should always be taken seriously even more so when it’s done to prevent women exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.”

At the protest, the WWW group represented the "gender critical" side of the debate around gender reform. They believe that someone's sex is immutable and as such transgender people should be barred from women's only sports and spaces.

A counter-protest of trans rights advocates saw demonstrators hold signs suggesting that WWW were wrong to focus on attacking trans people's right to exist rather than women's rights issues such as the gender pay gap or domestic violence.