Royal Assent has been given to the creation of new single police and fire forces north of the Border with the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill becoming the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.
The legislation paves the way for eight existing police and fire brigade forces to be merged into a single unit as part of plans designed to save £1.7bn over the next 15 years.
The bill, which passed through the Scottish Parliament prior to the summer recess, officially became law after receiving Royal Assent, culminating in renewed commitments a target date of April next year will be met.
Recruitment for key positions, including a chief constable to lead the second largest police force in the UK, is already underway, although provisions of the Act allowing for appointments will come into effect tomorrow.
Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham said the move would allow for police and fire and rescue services “fit for the future while protecting the excellent record of the past for our communities in Scotland”.
She added: “We are confident that the services will be ready on day one. Recruitment is well underway for key positions such as the Chief Constable and Chief Officer of the SFRS.
“We brought forward these appointments to maintain momentum, ensure a smooth transition and provide leadership of the services through the change, so that Scotland continues to have excellent police and fire and rescue services fit to face the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”