THE former chief of the Crown Office's Criminal Allegations Against the Police division is to be the new head of Scotland's independent police scrutiny body.

Kate Frame has been named as the new Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

A solicitor by training, Ms Frame will take up her new role in August at PIRC, which conducts independent investigations into serious incidents involving police bodies operating in Scotland.

It also provides scrutiny of the way the police in Scotland respond to complaints from the public.

Ms Frame will succeed current commissioner, Professor John McNeill.

Ms Frame said: "I look forward to building and strengthening public confidence through robust and independent investigation and oversight of matters which reflect public concern."

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "The PIRC plays a vital role in safeguarding the trust the Scottish people have in their police service."