House appointed chief constable of new Scottish police force
By Keith Aitken in Edinburgh | 26 September 2012
Strathclyde police chief Stephen House will lead the new national force for Scotland, it was announced yesterday.
House is expected to take up the post at the Police Service of Scotland in the autumn, where he will work closely with chair Vic Emery. The national force officially comes into being next April.
As chief constable of Strathclyde, Scotland’s biggest force, House had been the frontrunner for the £208,000-a-year post. Among his early tasks will be finding the right balance between national policy and local priorities set by the 32 local divisions in consultation with local authorities. He will also have to dispel fears over potential ministerial interference.
Announcing House’s appointment yesterday, Emery said he would bring ‘a wealth of experience and authority’ to the role. ‘We will ensure that the PSS retains a powerful focus on the needs of the people we serve, and that’s a fundamental principle that I know House shares.’
House called his new post exciting and said he was proud to have been trusted with developing and leading the new service. Local policing was ‘a vital part of this’, he added, ‘and I am determined it will be at the heart of the PSS ethos’.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill also welcomed the appointment, saying House would inherit a police service that was performing ‘excellently’.
Glasgow-born House moved to England as a child and built his career in the Metropolitan Police. Last year, he was a short-listed contender for the Metropolitan Police commissioner’s job.