First Minister Humza Yousaf has led tributes to Sir Iain Livingstone QPM who today (August 10) retired from policing after 31 years, including six as Scotland’s Chief Constable.

Joining Lothian and Borders Police as a Constable in 1992, Sir Iain served in detective and uniform roles in Edinburgh and West Lothian, leading a number of major investigations and operations.

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As Detective Superintendent, he played a key role in the security operation around the G8 meeting in 2005 and headed the murder investigation into the double shooting at the Marmion Bar in Edinburgh.

Following promotion to Detective Chief Superintendent, he commanded the force’s Criminal Investigation Department and undertook an external attachment as a senior investigator to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

After completing the Strategic Command Course, Sir Iain was appointed Assistant Chief Constable for Lothian and Borders Police in April 2009, with responsibility for Crime and Operations. As ACC, he was Gold commander for many significant events including the visit to Edinburgh of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

During work in 2012 to form Police Scotland, Sir Iain was appointed Deputy Chief Constable Crime and Operational Support. In this role, he created national specialist capabilities and oversaw the move to the multi-agency Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh.

Sir Iain was appointed Chief Constable in August 2018, having served as Interim Chief from September 2017.

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As Chief Constable, he has led the national Service during its important role through the Covid pandemic; Police Scotland’s successful security operation for the United Nation’s COP26 Summit in 2021; and Operation Unicorn, which ensured events following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth were held safely and with dignity.

Sir Iain graduated in law from the Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde and practised as a solicitor in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London before joining the police service.

Awarded a Fulbright Scholar while a Detective Sergeant, Sir Iain graduated with a master's degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

 Sir Iain is active across the justice sector and was a member of the Scottish Sentencing Council. He continues to advise on the Operation Kenova investigation into matters during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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In 2015 he was awarded the Queen's Police Medal and was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in June 2022 for services to policing and the public.

Sir Iain said: “Leading our officers and staff as Scotland’s chief constable to keep the public safe has been the privilege of my professional life.

“I thank and pay tribute to all my colleagues for their dedication and professionalism and to my family for their love and support.

“With the strong and experienced leadership team in place and under the command of new Chief Constable Jo Farrell, I know Police Scotland will continue to deliver ethical and effective policing for our fellow citizens.”

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First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I would like to thank Sir Iain Livingstone for his outstanding leadership of Police Scotland over the past six years.

“During his time in charge, policing of the COVID pandemic, COP26 and the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showcased all that is best about the qualities and traditions of Scottish policing.

“He has also shown courage and commitment in challenging the institutional and structural barriers that exist within Police Scotland. After 31 years of public service, I wish him well on his retirement.”

Martyn Evans, Chair of the Authority, said: "Sir Iain Livingstone has been integral to delivering the vision of a single national police service and transforming policing over the last decade. In doing so, he has shown great imagination, courage and created much needed stability.

“He has led Police Scotland with dignity, grace and distinction through significant major events and challenges. The Authority is immensely grateful for his contribution and leadership and we wish him well for this next chapter.”