Force deputy`s surprise exit leaves `next chief constable` up in the air
The man who helped establish Police Scotland before missing out on the most senior position is calling time on his 25-year career.
The man who helped establish Police Scotland before missing out on the most senior position is calling time on his 25-year career. And Designated Deputy for Chief Constable (DDCC) Iain Livingstone`s plan to retire “in the autumn” could herald major changes at the top of Police Scotland. The announcement on Friday (July 21) has sent shock waves through the force that a senior officer the rank-and-file`s choice to succeed Sir Stephen House in January last year and in pole position to succeed Phillip Gormley when he chooses to step down should decide to quit at the age of 50 with no apparent new position to go to. Mr Livingstone would not be drawn on the future, instead saying leaving the service “is now the right time for me to retire” with a express desire to “take up new challenges”. But former Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the announcement by the “heir apparent” to the chief officer`s position of the UK`s second biggest force had come “clean out of the blue”. Seen as the “next chief constable”, Mr MacAskill spoke of his “big surprise” at the Mr Livingstone`s decision to quit. He added: “He is an outstanding officer and his departure will be a big loss to the service.” Now the force may have to look a lot further for a replacement to the incumbent chief constable, whose contract runs out at the end of 2018 as the other deputy chief constables are expected to retire before then. Although there is an option to extend when his contract ends in December next year, it is reported that Mr Gormley may even leave before it expires. His other deputies Rose Fitzpatrick, who only agreed last year to a further one-year extension to provide continuity for the new leadership team, and the returning Johnny Gwynne look unlikely to outstay their chief constable. If that turns out to be the case, then the force will either have to look to one of its seven upcoming assistant chief constables to fill the void or again cast its eyes `south of the border` for a replacement to Mr Gormley who came from the position of deputy director general of the National Crime Agency. Today the force categorically denied that the DDCC`s decision to go early would be a precursor to more departures encompassing the chief constable. “It is not true,” a spokesperson told Police Professional. “All we are looking at is the retirement of Iain Livingstone.” Mr Gormley, who was appointed to the force`s top job when successfully negotiating a final three-man short list that included Mr Livingstone, paid a fulsome tribute to the departing DDCC. Iain has served the communities of Scotland for over 25 years and has been a central figure in police reform and the creation of the national service,” said Mr Gormley. As chief constable, I have been extremely grateful for his support, advice and leadership over the past year and a half, and I wish him every success in his future plans. Scottish Police Authority chief executive John Foley said Mr Livingstone had made an an exceptional contribution, adding: We will consider over the coming weeks the necessary leadership and succession arrangements, in consultation with the chief constable. Scottish Police Federation General Secretary Calum Steele described him as a “remarkable public servant” and “one of the most talented and highly respected police officers of his generation”. He added: “His retirement represents a tremendous loss for the police service as a whole and for the communities in Scotland in particular. Mr Livingstone graduated in law from the Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde. He worked as a solicitor in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London before joining Lothian and Borders Police in 1992. He served in Edinburgh and West Lothian as a patrol officer and detective and at HQ as Head of CID and Assistant Chief Constable Crime. He has commanded many serious crime investigations and major events. He led the establishment of Police Scotland after 2013 and thereafter headed national specialist policing capabi