Justice secretary says force is a match for anywhere in the world
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has insisted the public can have confidence in Police Scotland – despite the force being hit by the loss of some of its most senior officers.
Chief Constable Phil Gormley and one of his assistant chief constables have both been taken off duty at the moment, with Mr Matheson stating it was a “challenging set of circumstances” for the force.
Mr Gormley is on “special leave” as allegations of gross misconduct are investigated by the independent Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc).
On Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins was suspended by watchdogs at the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) after “a number of criminal and misconduct allegations”.
Mr Higgins, who was the head of armed policing in Scotland, and Mr Gormley deny any wrongdoing.
In a statement to MSPs, Mr Matheson said Police Scotland continues to provide an “excellent local service to communities that I believe is the match of policing anywhere in the world”.
Michael Matheson has defended Police Scotland.