FRONTLINE police officers must be scratching their heads at the latest revelations concerning their top brass and the people who hire them.
To award tax-free £65,000 relocation expenses to the force’s new deputy chief constable may well have caused some consternation anyway.
However, the slowly-emerging details of those payments to DCC Rose Fitzpatrick are increasingly hard to comprehend.
As we reveal today, she received £16,000 when she first moved to Scotland. So far, so generous.
Then, an incredible four years later, she received another £49,000 after she finally moved to her permanent home in Edinburgh, to live, incidentally, further away from her work.
Now, Police Scotland are no doubt absolutely correct to say DCC Fitzpatrick has done nothing wrong.
The issue lies with the Scottish Police Authority and the executive officers who offered her the deal then signed it off, apparently without the knowledge of their auditors or their board.
If the astonished accountants of Audit Scotland had not found these payments lurking in the books, and revealed them in a report, dripping with understated but scathing criticism, we, the public, the people ultimately picking up the tab, would never, ever have known.
But we know now and have every right to ask exactly what was going on at the SPA? All their scandals, the resignations, the problems have emerged in dribs and drabs.
Yes, there is a new chair and Susan Deacon is a capable and impressive appointment. She will, on past form, make a difference.
She needs to because the authority in charge of our policing has a very, very long way to go before winning the confidence of the public. And they can have that advice for free.
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