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by Kirsteen Paterson
14 June 2023
Police Scotland gets first woman leader as new chief constable is announced

Chief Constable Jo Farrell

Police Scotland gets first woman leader as new chief constable is announced

A woman is to head Police Scotland for the first time as the new chief constable is announced.

Jo Farrell, the current chief constable of Durham Constabulary, will take up the role later this year as incumbent Sir Iain Livingstone retires.

Martyn Evans, chair of the Scottish Police Authority and the selection panel which interviewed candidates for the role, called her "outstanding and highly experienced" and said she would "accelerate the culture change programmes" within the single force.

Outgoing chief constable Livingstone recently said Police Scotland is "institutionally racist and discriminatory".

Farrell said leaving Durham Constabulary was a "difficult decision" but "as chief constable of Police Scotland, I have been offered a unique opportunity to take on one of the most exciting and challenging job in UK policing".

Welcoming the appointment, justice secretary Angela Constance said: "As the force marks its tenth anniversary year, she has shown she has the skills needed to lead the service into the next decade and meet the challenges ahead.

"Thanks to the dedication and work of the police, recorded crime rates overall are at record low levels and we have a service that is unique in the UK, with an embedded human rights focus."

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