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Acting police chief says force has made 'progress'

Iain Livingstone gave evidence to a Holyrood committee about Police Scotland.

Iain Livingstone: The senior officer has postponed his retirement to help the force.
Iain Livingstone: The senior officer has postponed his retirement to help the force. PA

Police Scotland has made "significant progress" in addressing concerns raised by rank and file officers, the deputy chief constable designate has said.

Iain Livingstone appeared in front of a Holyrood committee after he announced on Monday that he was postponing his retirement to help manage the force after the chief constable, Phil Gormley, took a leave of absence after being accused of gross misconduct.

The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), the body which represents ordinary officers, said many of its members were simply too "scunnered" to raise issues about poor working conditions as they felt nothing would change.

However, DCC Livingstone told members of Holyrood's justice sub-committee on policing that the force has improved over recent times.

"I do recognise the SPF presented quite a challenging position - I am not in any way saying their concerns lack validity, what I am saying is we have begun to address them," he argued.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1397342-police-scotland-chief-steps-aside-amid-bullying-inquiry/ | default

While the force had got things wrong in the past, "there is an opportunity now to say, actually, a sustainable organisation is only going to last if we are investing in our people".

"I think we've made significant progress in recent months, years," the senior police officer added.

DCC Livingstone told MSPs improvements had been made with the force's corruption unit after it was renamed the anti-corruption unit from its previous title of counter-corruption unit.

The unit had been restructured following several allegations against its officers including using policing powers to identify journalists' sources.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) is currently investigating Mr Gormley over two complaints.

Mr Gormley denies any wrongdoing.

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