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Police chief faces criticism from justice sub-committee

20 February 2015

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has denied that confidence is “ebbing away” from Police Scotland, as he faced questions from MSPs on Holyrood’s justice sub-committee over his leadership.

MSPs claimed his “conduct” was having an impact on the force amid controversies surrounding stop and search and armed police.

John Finnie, an independent MSP and former police officer, questioned Sir Stephen and suggested a series of high-profile rows involving the chief constable were undermining the good work being carried out by the police.

The Highlands and Islands MSP asked Sir Stephen if his conduct was having an impact on Police Scotland and suggested that senior officers had lost confidence in him.

Referring to rows over the number of consensual stop and searches on children, the closure of police counters and the appearance of armed officers on routine duties, Mr Finnie said: “Isn’t that part of the problem, chief constable, that because there is an awful lot of good work going on, it’s being lost because you’ve become the story?”

Sir Stephen replied: “I try my best.”