New chief of Scotland's policing watchdog appointed

Craig Naylor will take over as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland from Gill Imery.

Craig Naylor replaces Gill Imery as head of Scotland’s policing watchdog iStock

Craig Naylor has been appointed as head of Scotland’s policing watchdog.

He will take over as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland from Gill Imery.

Naylor is currently deputy director of investigations at the National Crime Agency.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland (HMICS) acts as an independent scrutiny body which has been in existence since the 19th century.

The post is entirely independent of government, police and the Scottish Police Authority.

Naylor will be tasked with leading the watchdog in delivering an annual programme of inspection, monitoring and evaluation of Police Scotland.

And he will also be a source of professional independent advice on police matters, publish reports and produce an annual report to ministers on the police service in Scotland.

His predecessor, Imery, will leave the role having been appointed in 2018.

Last year, she concluded that Police Scotland faces a “considerable cultural challenge” over the experience of women and minority ethnic people in the force.

Following announcement of his appointment, Naylor underlined the importance of having independent, objective scrutiny of policing.

“I am delighted and extremely honoured to have been appointed to the role of HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland,” he said.

“The importance of having independent and objective scrutiny of policing to ensure challenging issues are addressed, as well as to highlight the positive contribution policing makes in our communities and in keeping people safe, cannot be overstated.

“A strong and independent Inspectorate should enhance the legitimacy of the service provided to Scotland’s communities.” 

Scotland’s justice secretary Keith Brown expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Gill Imery as he welcomed the appointment of Naylor to the role.

“HMICS plays a vital role in ensuring Scotland’s police continue to perform their duties to a high standard as they strive to keep Scotland’s communities safe,” said Brown.

“With such a strong and varied policing background, much of it spent in Scottish policing, Craig Naylor brings a great wealth of experience to the role of Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland. I am delighted that he has been appointed to this role.

“I would also like to put on record my gratitude to Gill Imery for fulfilling this extremely important role for the last four years.

“She has made an outstanding contribution to policing in Scotland and I wish her well in whatever she chooses to do next.”

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