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New Police Scotland chief constable steps into role

Iain Livingstone has served as acting chief constable since last September.

Iain Livingstone: New head of Scotland's police force.
Iain Livingstone: New head of Scotland's police force. Police Scotland

The new head of Police Scotland has taken up the job more than six months after the former chief constable's resignation.

Iain Livingstone served as acting chief constable for almost a year while Phil Gormley was investigated over claims of gross misconduct.

He resigned in February following political pressure, saying it was "impossible" to continue.

Mr Livingstone has said Police Scotland must change to meet the challenges it faces and admitted the force moved "too quickly" in its early days.

"I acknowledge that we didn't get everything right at the outset of Police Scotland," he said.

"The need to maintain an operational grip on policing meant that sometimes we moved too quickly, we didn't engage with our communities sufficiently.

"We were seen to impose national policies on local areas. Consistency and compliance came before local diversity."

Police Scotland's inaugural chief constable, Sir Stephen House, was criticised for introducing policies with little or no public consultation.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1427507-police-scotland-needs-to-change-says-new-chief-constable/ | default

"It's my job now to lead and drive that change and to build on the values, ethos and traditions of policing in Scotland that first attracted me to the job 26 years ago," Mr Livingstone added.

"It is a great responsibility and opportunity to lead the team that is Police Scotland, to harness your ideas and potential to serve the people of Scotland."

Mr Livingstone, whose salary will be £216,549, had planned to resign in autumn last year but stayed on after the accusations against Mr Gormley emerged.

The former chief constable was the subject of five separate misconduct investigations following seven complaints by police staff.

Most of their allegations related to bullying, it is understood.

Mr Gormley also became embroiled in a political row after it was alleged former justice secretary Michael Matheson intervened to prevent the Scottish Police Authority allowing him to return to work.

Susan Deacon, chairwoman of the Scottish Police Authority, said Mr Gormley had made a "significant contribution to policing in Scotland", however.

His resignation came less than two and a half years after that of former chief constable Sir Stephen House.

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