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Police watchdog chief appointed

A FORMER manager at Scotland's care watchdog will keep check on the country's police officers when the new single force comes into being on April 1.

Irene Scullion has been appointed as Head of Investigations for the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) – the body that will investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the new force.

Previously a regional manager for the Care Inspectorate, where she managed a team of 60, Ms Scullion will lead a team of 20 investigators who will look into cases of corruption and inappropriate conduct among officers.

She said: "I am looking forward to meeting the team and to the challenge as we prepare to take on the expanded remit of the PIRC."

In her role with the Care Inspectorate, Ms Scullion was responsible for inspecting local authorities' delivery of social work services and scrutinising children's agencies.

In the next post, she will co-ordinate all investigations to ensure they are conducted effectively and will deputise for the PIRC's Director of Investigations, John Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell said: "The complexity of investigations that we will be undertaking requires a head of investigations with extensive experience, expertise and judgment. Irene has demonstrated these qualities and is accustomed to operating in a high-profile and highly sensitive environment."

Ms Scullion's appointment is part of a programme that will see people from a range of backgrounds join the team.

By the end of this month, a 20-strong squad including former employees of the Fire Service, Trading Standards and other oversight bodies will be in place.

The PIRC will be responsible for investigating criminal and serious misconduct allegations against the police, as well as investigating deaths with police involvement. Currently, other police forces perform this function, but when the eight forces unite this will not be possible.

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