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08 July 2015
Vic Emery to stand down as Scottish Police Authority chair

Vic Emery to stand down as Scottish Police Authority chair

Vic Emery is to step down as chair of the Scottish Police Authority in two months’ time, it has been confirmed.

Emery, who has been the face of the body charged with overseeing Police Scotland since its inception, will not seek reappointment when his three-year term comes to an end in September.

His decision to step aside follows Sir Stephen House’s confirmation that he is poised to leave his post as chief constable when his contract ends next year.


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Emery said a new chair should be in place to oversee the appointment of House’s replacement to ensure a strong relationship between the two new leaders from the outset.

Convenor of the then Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA), Emery took over as SPA chair in October 2012 ahead of the single service going live six months later.

However, the early days of his tenure were marred by claims of a power struggle between Emery and House.

“I think hugging each other doesn’t make [for] good publicity,” the SPA chair quipped in an interview with Holyrood in September 2013.

Announcing his intention to step down, Emery said he had witnessed “remarkable improvement and progress in the effectiveness and efficiency of policing” in his seven years involved with the SPSA and subsequently the SPA.

“In my time as chair of the SPA, I have enjoyed a very effective working relationship with the chief constable,” he said 

“This relationship has been a crucial one and I wish to put on record my respect for the vast personal commitment he has made in establishing Police Scotland.

“Sir Stephen has been the right person to drive through a period of massive change in the organisation of operational policing in Scotland and I believe he has done an excellent job despite challenging circumstances. 

“The relationship between the Chief Constable and the Chair of the SPA is a key one. 

“I believe that the best way for that crucial dynamic to be forged would be for the Chair appointing the new Chief to have the opportunity to progress the appointment process and have the appropriate tenure to develop that key governance relationship going forward.”

The process to appoint his replacement is now underway and an appointment is expected in the autumn.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said: “The programmes of work delivered under his chairmanship have made significant and lasting contributions to the efficiency and transformation of policing in Scotland including excellent progress on savings, IT and infrastructure investment.
“There have, of course, been challenges which was in many ways inevitable given the scale of reorganisation and the fact that this was the most significant public service reform in a generation.
“However, excellent progress has been made in delivering savings and decisions have been taken which are transforming policing into a genuinely integrated single service.

"Above all, policing continues to perform excellently in communities right across Scotland."

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