Police Investigations and Review Commissioner launches new investigation of Police Scotland chief constable

Written by Jenni Davidson on 8 September 2017 in News

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has announced it is investigating further allegations of misconduct against Phil Gormley

Chief Constable Phil Gormley - Image credit: Andrew Cowan

A second misconduct investigation has been launched into Police Scotland chief constable Phil Gormley, is has been announced.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has confirmed today that it is investigating “further allegations of gross misconduct” about the chief constable.

PIRC is already investigating one allegation of gross misconduct against Gormley.

Once it has completed the investigations, PIRC will submit a report to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and recommend whether the allegations should be referred to a misconduct hearing.


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Gormley was not suspended after the first misconduct allegation came to light, with the SPA confirming that he would remain in post during the investigation.

However, the SPA announced earlier today that Gormley will now be taking a leave of absence for an indefinite period.

Although DCC Designate Iain Livingstone will stand in as chief constable in Gormley’s absence, concerns have been expressed by opposition parties about the gap in police leadership in Scotland.

SPA chair Andrew Flanagan has already resigned and will leave his post as soon as replacement is found, while SPA chief executive John Foley is to take early retirement next month.

Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Claire Baker MSP said: “This decision by the Chief Constable [to take a leave of absence] risks further damaging public confidence in Police Scotland. 

“Under these circumstances the SNP’s poor management of Police Scotland is creating an increasingly unstable and worrying situation.

“The SNP government must immediately clarify what impact this will have on the already shaky management of Police Scotland.

"With the most senior police officer under investigation, it is vital that whatever the outcome the public maintains confidence in Police Scotland.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "It has taken too long, but Phil Gormley has made the right decision to temporarily stand aside and I commend him on that.  

“The investigation needs to be completed effectively and swiftly so that Police Scotland can move on.  

“There is a lot to fix in Police Scotland and we need effective leadership to fix it."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate for ministers to make a comment at this stage while due process takes place.

“Iain Livingstone is well-equipped to lead Police Scotland through this period of absence.”

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