John McLellan: Michael Matheson’s support for police chiefs is bold

Acting Chief Constable  Iain Livingstone
Acting Chief Constable Iain Livingstone
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With Police Scotland seemingly never more than a few days away from the next crisis, justice secretary Michael Matheson’s vote of confidence in the force’s latest temporary leadership line-up is a bold move.

But with less grip than Dr No’s plastic hands, whether Matheson has faith in his police squad is almost irrelevant.

The various allegations, now involving apparent use of a police shooting range for private amusement, speak of an organisation in which respect is breaking down and rivalries are being played out through the disciplinary system.

READ MORE: Michael Matheson defends handling of Police Scotland crisis

Acting chief constable Iain Livingstone this week set out his vision for the future, which isn’t the action of a man expecting to hand over responsibility any time soon.

Whatever happens, ex-Edinburgh East Labour MSP and Scottish health minister Susan Deacon has got her work cut out at the Scottish Police Authority when she takes over as chair in the new year.

READ MORE: Police Scotland promotes two senior officers after suspension