Jus­tice sec­re­tary says force is a match for any­where in the world

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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