A new senior officer has taken over Police Scotland’s efforts to tackle terrorism and organised crime, as an assistant chief constable is investigated over a “criminal allegation”.
ACC Tim Mairs is stepping into the role as another officer – understood to be ACC Pat Campbell – is currently suspended.
It emerged at the weekend that the Crown Office had instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate an allegation relating to Mr Campbell.
A senior officer can be suspended if an allegation, if proven, would be sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct or if the nature of the allegation means suspension is in the public interest.
At the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Keith Brown answered questions about the senior officer’s suspension.
He said the investigation was an “operational matter” for Police Scotland and Mr Mairs will move over from his current role to take on Mr Campbell’s portfolio on an interim basis.
Mr Campbell’s role, which he took up a year ago, is executive lead for organised crime, counter-terrorism and intelligence – which also covers border policing, cyber crime and digital forensics.
Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene said: “It is the seniority of the individual and indeed the importance of his remit which causes the most concern.”
He said cybercrime had grown sharply in the last year.
Mr Brown said he had discussed the issue with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority in the last few days.
He said: “I am confident that the police and the chief constable will ensure that the same kind of coverage, the same kind of effort is being made in relation to organised crime, cybercrime, as has been made before this case came to fruition.”