Iain Livingstone is new Police Scotland leader

15 August 2018, 19:08 | Updated: 15 August 2018, 19:09

Iain Livingstone

Iain Livingstone has been named as the new chief constable of Police Scotland.

The senior officer has been acting chief for the force since last autumn, standing in when former chief constable Phil Gormley was suspended during an investigation into gross misconduct allegations, which he denied, before quitting.

Mr Livingstone, whose current rank is Deputy Chief Constable, will take up his new post on August 27 after topping a shortlist of candidates from across UK forces interviewed by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA).

His annual salary for the four-year fixed term post is £216,549.

Mr Livingstone, who was a solicitor before joining Lothian and Borders Police in 1992, said he is "proud and humbled" by the appointment.

He said: "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."

Mr Livingstone stepped in as interim chief constable when Mr Gormley took special leave last September amid investigations into claims of gross misconduct. He resigned in February saying it would be "impossible" for him to resume policing duties.

The resignation was the latest in a series of controversies for Police Scotland, which was formed in 2013.

Sir Stephen House quit as chief constable in 2015 when he had been under pressure over call handling, a delayed response to a fatal crash on the M9, armed officers on routine patrol and stop and search policies.

Mr Livingstone worked as a solicitor in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London before joining the police in 1992.

His career has included external attachments to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland as a special investigator, to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as a member of Lord Bonomy's review of corroboration, and he currently sits on the Scottish Sentencing Council.

He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in May 2015.

SPA chairwoman Susan Deacon, who headed the selection panel interviewing prospective candidates, said: "I am 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.

"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."

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf welcomed the appointment, saying: "Iain has demonstrated he has the right qualities to lead Police Scotland as the service continues to enhance its ability to tackle crime and keep people safe."

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: "Mr Livingstone has spoken in recent months about learning from his past mistakes.

"Certainly, people will expect to see evidence of that, so we can move on and have a national force that commands the full confidence of people across Scotland."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the force has a "wide range of challenges".

"Without change, they will persist, irrespective of who is in the leading roles.

"That is why we need an independent expert commission to recommend reform and repair the damage.

"That is the kind of reset Police Scotland needs."