Police Scotland chief constable Sir Iain Livingstone to stand down


Police Scotland’s chief constable is to stand down this summer.

Sir Iain Livingstone, 56, announced his retirement during a meeting of the Scottish Police Authority Board in Glasgow on Thursday.

The chief constable said: “By my last day in service, I will have been a police officer for 31 years and had the privilege of serving as chief constable for nearly six of those years.

“Police Scotland is an organisation with shared values and high levels of operational competence. The service improvements achieved in our 10 years are unprecedented across the United Kingdom public sector, delivering effective policing for the public.”

Former solicitor Sir Iain first joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1992 and served in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

As detective superintendent he played a key role in the security operation around the G8 meeting at Gleneagles in 2005, which was hosted by then prime minister Tony Blair and attended by the likes of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and former US president George W Bush.

Protesters clashing with police at the security fence surrounding the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005

Following promotion to detective chief superintendent, he commanded the force’s criminal investigation department and undertook an external attachment as a senior investigator to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

After completing the strategic command course, Sir Iain was appointed assistant chief constable for Lothian and Borders Police in April 2009.

As ACC, he was gold commander for many significant events including Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Edinburgh in 2010.

Pope Benedict XVI riding down Edinburgh’s Princes Street in 2010

Sir Iain has led the single national service for six years, as interim chief from 2017 before being formally appointed as chief constable in 2018.

As chief constable, he has led the force through COVID, COP26, and Operation Unicorn following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Iain being made a Knight Bachelor by the Princess Royal at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

In in 2015 he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal before being knighted in June 2022 for services to policing and the public.

Sir Iain added: “We now have a full leadership team with the experience and capability to continue the progress made and can take confidence from the exceptional role Police Scotland played through COVID, COP26 and the events following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

“The police officers and police staff of Police Scotland are outstanding. Leading them as chief constable to serve the people of Scotland has been the honour of my working life.”

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