Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
Iain Livingstone to become next chief constable of Police Scotland

Iain Livingstone to become next chief constable of Police Scotland

Iain Livingstone - Image credit: David Anderson/Holyrood

Iain Livingstone has been chosen as the next chief constable of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority has announced.

Livingstone is currently standing in as chief constable following the departure of the previous chief, Phil Gormley, in February.

He will take up the post on a permanent basis from Monday 27 August.

Livingstone has been Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable designate – second in command at the force – since May 2016. 

Prior to that, he had been deputy chief constable for crime and operations since Police Scotland was formed in 2013 and served with Lothian and Borders Police before that.

He has degrees in law from the universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde and 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 HMICS 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.

The appointment will be for a fixed term of four years with the possibility of extension.

Susan Deacon, chair of the SPA and the selection panel for the role, said: “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.

“This is a significant milestone in our continued efforts to strengthen the leadership and governance of policing in Scotland.

“I look forward to working with Iain Livingstone and his team as we continue to develop policing to keep people safe and meet the needs of a changing Scotland.”

Deacon said the decision had followed an “extremely rigorous and robust selection process which has involved a range of external advice and inputs”.

Iain Livingstone said he was “extremely proud and humbled to be appointed as Scotland’s next chief constable”.

He continued: “It is a great responsibility and opportunity to lead a 22,000 strong team of dedicated and committed professionals, and to harness their ideas and potential in the service of the people of Scotland.

“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.”

The announcement has been welcomed by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, who approved the appointment.

Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Police Authority has completed its robust assessment and appointment process, naming Iain Livingstone as Scotland’s new chief constable.

“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.

“As chief constable of the UK’s second largest police service, Iain will mobilise the skills and expertise of more than 22,000 dedicated officers and staff who have built up national specialist capabilities to tackle key issues of public concern and, alongside community safety partners, contributed to crime falling by around a third from a decade ago and more people feeling safe in their local area.

“Iain will head up a strong senior officer team, providing stability, support and clear direction for Police Scotland’s officers and staff in the months and years ahead.

“I look forward to working with the new chief constable and the SPA as the service continues to strengthen national and local partnerships and how it works with the public in order to help keep crime down and communities safe.”

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - The Holyrood baby: More likely to live in poverty now than the day she was born.



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top