Highlands & Islands

Police Scotland senior officer leaves force for new job

The most senior police officer in the north of Scotland has left his job after just 10 months.

Derek Penman, assistant chief constable of Police Scotland, is to become the independent inspector of constabulary.

Mr Penman, who joined the police in 1984, has been in charge of local policing for the former Northern, Grampian and Tayside force areas.

Before the formation of Police Scotland last year, he was temporary chief constable of Central Scotland Police.

Mr Penman has been appointed Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS). He will take up the role on 31 January.

He will be responsible for planning and leading an annual programme of inspection, monitoring and evaluating the performance of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

'Vital asset'

The job is independent of government, police and the Scottish Police Authority.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced the appointment.

He said: "The HM inspector of constabulary plays a key role in ensuring Scotland's police perform their duties to a high standard, and I am very pleased that we have someone with Mr Penman's background and skills in the post.

"I have no doubt that he will prove a vital asset in driving forward the continued improvement we expect from Police Scotland."

Mr Penman said: "I am delighted to be taking on the role of HMIC and leading the independent inspection of policing in Scotland in a way that adds value and provides reassurance to our communities that policing - both local and national - remains effective and efficient."

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