Scotland politics

Police Scotland's deputy chief constable Neil Richardson to step down

DCC Neil Richardson
Image caption DCC Neil Richardson will not seek to have his contract renewed

A senior policeman embroiled in a row over spying is stepping down from his current role at Police Scotland.

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson's contract expires soon and he will not seek to have it renewed.

The head of Police Scotland, Phil Gormley, said his deputy's "contribution has been outstanding".

DCC Richardson has worked in Scottish policing for more than 30 years and helped oversee the service become one single force.

Last year he competed for the top police job in Scotland, but Mr Gormley was chosen above him and colleague Iain Livingstone.

Amid much controversy, Police Scotland was created in April 2013.

Its first boss was Sir Stephen House who stepped down from the role in December 2015.

Most recently DCC Richardson has had to defend to politicians the behaviour of Police Scotland's Counter-Corruption Unit which he headed.

The unit breached rules on intercepting phone calls when it tried to obtain details of a journalist's sources.

Following news of his impending departure, DCC Richardson said: "I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in Police Scotland and privileged to have been able to play a part in what has been an historic change to policing in this country."

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