New Police Investigations and Review Commissioner

Senior solicitor named as new head of independent police scrutiny body.

Michelle Macleod has been appointed as the new Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).

Solicitor Mrs Macleod, who is currently Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for the Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland, will take up her new role on 17 August 2019.

The PIRC conducts independent investigations into serious incidents involving the police and independent scrutiny of the way policing organisations in Scotland, including Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, respond to complaints from the public.

Mrs Macleod will succeed current Commissioner Kate Frame, who announced in February she was stepping down at the end of her five-year-term.

Mrs Macleod said: “I am delighted to be taking up this appointment. The work of my predecessor, Kate Frame, has provided a strong foundation in improving standards and consistency of policing. I look forward to building on this and bolstering public confidence in policing in Scotland through robust and independent investigations of incidents involving the force.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf added: “The PIRC plays a key role in safeguarding the trust which the public have in their police service.

“I welcome the appointment of such an experienced and committed individual as Mrs Macleod who will build on the valuable work already carried out by Ms Frame. I am grateful to Ms Frame for the energy, commitment and service she has shown over the years  and wish her well when she leaves in August.”


The PIRC undertakes independent investigations into serious incidents involving the police. It also provides independent scrutiny of the way Police Scotland responds to complaints from the public.

This includes incidents where someone has died or sustained serious injury after contact with the police. It also includes incidents where there is an indication that a police officer may have committed an offence. See the PIRC website for further details about its work.

The Commissioner is a Ministerial appointment. The appointment is not subject to the regulated public appointments procedure although the spirit of the public appointments code was adhered to. An open competition for the post was advertised on 15 March.  Following a sift of applications, suitable candidates attended for interview and assessment by a selection panel which subsequently made a recommendation to the Justice Secretary for approval.

Mrs Macleod was appointed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prosecution in August 2013 after working in the Fiscal Service for 21 years.  Mrs Macleod joined the Fiscal Service in 1992 as a trainee and has held various roles across Scotland, including Area Procurator Fiscal for Central, Head of Policy at Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal High Court East where she was responsible for the investigation, prosecution and management of all High Court cases in the East of Scotland. 

Her appointment runs for five years.

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