New police service has first chief

The new Police Service of Scotland has its first Chief Constable.

Stephen House, currently Strathclyde’s Chief Constable, is expected to formally take up the role this autumn.

He will work closely with Vic Emery, Scottish Police Authority chair, which will maintain and provide strategic leadership to the new body and hold the service to account, to ensure a smooth transition to the Police Service of Scotland, which comes into operation on April 1 next year.

Mr Emery announced the appointment after an open UK-wide recruitment process.

He said: “I am delighted to welcome Stephen House as the first Chief Constable of the new Police Service of Scotland. He will bring a wealth of experience and authority to the role.

“It will be the authority’s role to be a national voice on policing so that we make the right national choices.

“We will ensure the Police Service of Scotland retains a powerful focus on the needs of the people we serve and that’s a fundamental principle that I know Mr House shares.

“Although we have both enjoyed long careers, we are both entering new and uncharted territory. That’s challenging and exciting.

“This is a historic moment in Scottish policing and together we have an opportunity to shape both the operational delivery of policing and the governance of policing to meet the complex challenges of the 21st Century, and deliver improved outcomes for the people of Scotland.

Mr House said: “I am delighted to accept this new and exciting post.

“My views on the creation of a single Police Service of Scotland have been widely publicised so it gives me great professional pride to be trusted with the responsibility for developing and leading the new service.

“The priority for the new service will be to continue keeping people safe in Scotland.

“There will be no let up on the work to tackle organised criminality, violence and all the other issues which are of concern to our communities.