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Justice Committee has key role to play in police debate

YOUR excellent leader appears to have motivated the usual suspects to re-engage in the national policing debate ("Police summons for two chiefs", The Herald, November 24).

It would appear that some long-time opponents of the establishment of a national police force now see a role for themselves in providing the Government with advice on how matters should proceed from this point.

In answer to a specific question in Christopher Mason's observations (Letters November 26), the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents is of the belief that the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland should exercise the functions and duties traditionally performed by his predecessors in the constituent forces and that the SPA should ensure that he does so both wisely and prudently. That was our position as the enabling legislation was being framed and we were unaware of any contrary position prior to the Act gaining Royal Assent. Since that time Vic Emery, chairman of the SPA, and certain close colleagues appear to have adopted a new interpretation of the relevant sections of the Act and this has been the crux of the current unfortunate situation. Hopefully, under the scrutiny of the Justice Committee, sense will prevail and we can move forward with the more important matters requiring urgent attention prior to the birth of the new force on April 1.

Superintendent Niven Rennie.

National Vice President; Chairman, Strathclyde Branch Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, Stewart Street , Glasgow.

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