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Police watchdog loses third chair in four years

5 Dec 2019

The chair of the Scottish Police Authority has announced her resignation, the third chief to quit in little over four years.

Susan Deacon cited “fundamentally flawed” governance and accountability arrangements, and told the SNP government to “think afresh” about how it scrutinised policing.

She succeeded Andrew Flanagan in the role, who left in 2017 amid a bullying scandal.

Before that, original SPA chair Vic Emery quit after having a number of public, high-profile rows with senior police officers.

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said, having created the single force in 2013, the SNP had to take full responsibility for the chaos within the SPA.

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said:

“In its short life the SPA has now gone through three different chairs.

“That’s completely unacceptable, and clearly this is an organisation in crisis.

“The SNP government has made a complete mess of centralising Scotland’s police force, and must take full responsibility for these failings.

“It’s not the first time that the SNP has been warned about the problems in scrutinising police and holding the force to account.

“Yet, six years after the creation of the single force, the issues seem worse than ever.”