SPA promotes 'outstanding' interim chief to lead force

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) has confirmed the appointment of Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone as the new chief constable of Police Scotland.  

Aug 15, 2018
By Joe Shine
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone: 'it's only right that their dedication and commitment is recognised appropriately'

Mr Livingstone, who has been in interim charge of the force since last autumn, will take up his new post on August 27, on a fixed term of four years with the possibility of an extension. 

His appointment comes after former Chief Constable Phil Gormley spent several months on special leave while the subject of four gross misconduct investigations before eventually stepping down. 

The SPA said Mr Livingstone had to undergo an “extremely rigorous and robust” six-week assessment process before he was selected.  

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said Mr Livingstone has proved over the past few months that he has the right qualities to lead Police Scotland. 

“As chief constable of the UK’s second largest police service, Iain will mobilise the skills and expertise of more than 22,000 dedicated officers and staff who have built up national specialist capabilities to tackle key issues of public concern and, alongside community safety partners, contributed to crime falling by around a third from a decade ago and more people feeling safe in their local area,” he added. 

“Iain will head up a strong senior officer team, providing stability, support and clear direction for Police Scotland’s officers and staff in the months and years ahead. I look forward to working with the new chief constable and the SPA as the service continues to strengthen national and local partnerships and how it works with the public to help keep crime down and communities safe.” 

SPA chair Susan Deacon added she was “pleased to announce the appointment of Iain Livingstone as chief constable of Police Scotland”. 

“The decision follows an extremely rigorous and robust selection process which has involved a range of external advice and inputs,” she said. 

“Iain Livingstone is an outstanding police leader who has made an exceptional contribution to policing in Scotland. I am confident that as chief constable, working together with a recently strengthened leadership team, he will provide renewed stability, purpose and direction to Police Scotland after a demanding and challenging period. 

“This is a significant milestone in our continued efforts to strengthen the leadership and governance of policing in Scotland. I look forward to working with Iain Livingstone and his team as we continue to develop policing to keep people safe and meet the needs of a changing Scotland.” 

Mr Livingstone began his policing career with Lothian and Borders Police in 1992 prior to the formation of Police Scotland.  

He has been placed on external attachments to both the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland as a special investigator and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland as a member of Lord Bonomy’s review of corroboration.  

Mr Livingstone also sits on the Scottish Sentencing Council and was awarded the Queens Police Medal in May 2015. 

He said: “I am extremely proud and humbled to be appointed as Scotland’s next chief constable. It is a great responsibility and opportunity to lead a 22,000 strong team of dedicated and committed professionals, and to harness their ideas and potential in the service of the people of Scotland.  

“Policing has been my life and the demands on it are developing faster today than at any time in my career.  

“It is my job now to lead and drive change in policing to adapt to those challenges and to build on the values, ethos and traditions of policing in Scotland that first attracted me to this profession 26 years ago.” 

The SPA is also expected to announce the appointment of its new chief executive in the coming weeks.

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