SCOTLAND'S single police service has been forced to scrap its new logo after consulting with the country's leading authority on coats of arms.

The new logo, which was revealed five weeks ago, was due to be rolled out in a £100,000 rebranding exercise, but bosses have had to swap the design for existing insignia.

If follows consultation with Lord Lyon, Scotland's top heraldic authority, who is understood to have indicated the logo was unlikely to be approved in time for the introduction of the new force on April 1.

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The force now plans to use a version of the crown and thistle badge, known as semper vigilo, that has been in existence since the 1930s.

However, this also has to be approved by Lord Lyon.

The decision has been criticised by Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont, who claimed it was simply the latest in a line of setbacks for the new force.

Mr Lamont said: "The SNP's haphazard attempt at creating a single police force has been plagued from the beginning. The Justice Secretary really needs to get a grip to ensure the new force is fully up and running for his deadline of April 1."

The planned logo was based on a saltire and designed in-house at no extra cost to the force.

Police Scotland claimed minimal rebranding had taken place and therefore the costs to the force had not been significant.