Phil Gormley confirmed as new Police Scotland chief constable

Written by Alan Robertson on 2 December 2015 in News

Former National Crime Agency No.2 will take up post next month

The former deputy director general of the National Crime Agency, Phil Gormley, has been named the new chief constable of Police Scotland.

Gormley, a former chief constable of Norfolk Police, will succeed Sir Stephen House after his departure earlier this week.

He was one of three to be interviewed for the post alongside Police Scotland deputy chief constables Iain Livingston and Neil Richardson.


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Gormley will take up the role on January 5 on a three-year contract. DCC Richardson will fill the post for the next month.

Scottish Police Authority chair Andrew Flanagan said: ”The new Chief Constable has challenges he will want to quickly address: re-engaging our workforce, tackling budget challenges, and bringing stability to the planning and implementation of organisational change.

“That is however just the start. We set out to find a leader with the vision to energise officers and staff towards innovative new approaches in the prevention of crime, and someone to reach out and build a strong connection between the single service and the local communities it serves.

“Those are key strengths we have identified in him and that he will bring to the wider police team.”

Gormley, who began his policing career in Thames Valley Police in 1985, left the NCA in the last few months after announcing his decision to retire in March of this year.

He said: “I have a 30 year career in policing and law enforcement, the last 13 years as a chief officer leading organisations delivering for the public in a period of profound transformation for policing.

“Police Scotland is on just such a journey and it will be my job to ensure our service strikes the right balance between local community approaches, and the many challenges we face from organised criminals, cybercrime and extremism.

“I am very excited and passionate about this unique professional and personal challenge, and I am looking forward to getting to work with my new team.”


RELATED CONTENT - Phil Gormley’s CV

2013 – 2015 - Deputy Director General of National Crime Agency (NCA), often dubbed ‘Britain’s FBI’

2010 – 2013 - Chief Constable, Norfolk Constabulary.

2007 – 2010 - Deputy Chief Constable, West Midlands Police

2003 - 2007 Commander, Metropolitan Police Service, where he was initially responsible for firearms and aviation security then for special branch and counter terrorism.


Six applicants had put their names forward to replace House with Holyrood revealing last month that Gormley, Livingstone and Richardson had been shortlisted.

Holyrood understands the shortlisted candidates had not been informed of the outcome before media reports surfaced earlier today.

Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty said: “The financial climate has never been more difficult and it will be his job to try to ensure the police service has the budget it needs to cope with the heightened terrorist threat, the ongoing costs of reform and every other aspect of policing.

“Internally, he faces a workforce which has recently reported unprecedented high levels of dissatisfaction with the job and action needs to be taken to address that.

“Mr Gormley’s entire policing career has been forged in England. In the past we have expressed concerns that policing in Scotland has had its unique identity diminished due to a lack of understanding of our own challenges and issues.

“We have already met with Mr Gormley and are delighted that he has acknowledged his willingness to listen and learn.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “While Police Scotland has faced challenges, the fundamentals of policing in Scotland remain sound and I am confident that, under Phil’s leadership, the organisation will continue to develop positively in the months and years ahead. I look forward to working with Mr Gormley when he takes up his post early next year.”

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