Second highest-ranking officer in the country announces intention to leave force later this year
A senior officer who has found himself at the centre of a ‘spying’ row engulfing Police Scotland is to step down later this year.
Deputy chief constable Neil Richardson – the second highest-ranking officer in the country – will leave the force when his contract runs out later this year.
The force’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, said the former Strathclyde Police deputy chief constable has made an “outstanding” contribution to Scottish policing.
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Richardson was one of three candidates interviewed for the position of chief constable following Sir Stephen House’s announced departure last year.
The announcement comes one week on from a murder detective accusing Richardson of “misconduct”following evidence he gave to a Holyrood committee in the wake of Police Scotland breaching rules on the use of spying powers in order to identify journalists sources.
The single service has said it is “reviewing” the content, including allegations, made by detective inspector David Moran in a letter to the parliament’s justice committee.
Richardson joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1985 and later went on to become a deputy chief constable with the legacy Strathclyde Police force.
The officer, who was awarded an OBE for his work on the move from eight police forces down to one, went on to become a deputy chief constable for Police Scotland under House, his former chief at Strathclyde.
However, Richardson claimed in December that he had been portrayed as an “archetypal villain playing fast and loose with the rules” after police breached the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO) code of practice by failing to get judicial approval while seeking communications data.
Gormley said: “Neil has served the communities of Scotland for over 30 years and has been a pivotal figure in the reform of policing and the creation of the single national Service. His contribution has been outstanding and that has been recognised with the award of the OBE and QPM.”
SPA chair Andrew Flanagan labelled Richardson a “leading figure in Scottish policing for many years” who has been an “outstanding public servant and leader”.
Richardson said: “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in Police Scotland and privileged to have been able to play a part in what has been an historic change to policing in this country.”
A selection process to identify the deputy chief constable’s replacement will begin shortly. found in full here
ONE of Scotland’s top police officers has announced he will stand down from the force just days after he was accused of “misconduct” in the scandal over spying on journalists’ sources.
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson informed senior management today that he would step down from his role when his contract expires later this year.
It follows claims by murder detective David Moran, who was unlawfully targeted by the single force, that DCC Neil Richardson may have “made up” some of the evidence he gave to a Holyrood committee examining the scandal.
It has been claimed detectives were ordered to intercept phone and email data from suspected sources to discover how information was obtained about the failed £4million inquiry into Emma Caldwell’s unsolved murder 10 years ago.
The revelations triggered a probe by MSPs on the Holyrood Justice Committee, which heard evidence from Mr Richardson, who has responsibility for the Counter Corruption Unit.
Mr Moran, an officer with over 30 years’ service, revealed himself to be one of the four individuals targeted by his own force that hoped to discover police officers that may be leaking details of the unsolved murder inquiry.
In a letter to the Committee, which is on the Holyrood website, he said: “I have subsequently been able to piece together what I believe to be a fairly accurate, if not complete, picture of the illegal course of conduct against me.”
Evening Times: Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson (left)
Mr Moran wrote that the breaches had been wilful, rather than just reckless: “I do not believe the actions carried out by Police Scotland to have been reckless as determined by IOCCO (Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office) and I do not believe they had full possession of the facts when reaching that conclusion.”
“Consequently I have made a complaint to the Police and the Procurator Fiscal through my solicitor Peter Watson that I believe I am a victim of a crime and that the course of conduct followed was wilful and therefore a criminal action.”
Mr Richardson is the second highest-ranking officer in the country after Chief Constable Phil Gormley.
Commenting on his decision, DCC Richardson said “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in Police Scotland and privileged to have been able to play a part in what has been an historic change to policing in this country.”
Mr Gormley is in discussion with the Scottish Police Authority and a selection process to identify DCC Richardson’s replacement will start shortly
The Chief Constable said: “Neil has served the communities of Scotland for over 30 years and has been a pivotal figure in the reform of policing and the creation of the single national Service. His contribution has been outstanding and that has been recognised with the award of the OBE and QPM.” in full here