Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone ‘deeply honoured’ at knighthood

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The head of Police Scotland has said he is “deeply honoured” to receive a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone is being knighted for services to policing and the public, while a number of other officers and staff are also recognised in the list.

Police Constable Stephen Tanner, who is based on the island of Tiree, and recently retired Superintendent Irene Ralston have been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.

Police Scotland health and safety manager James Bertram receives a British Empire Medal for services to policing and to the community in Ayrshire.

Irene Ralston
Irene Ralston retired in February this year (Police Scotland/PA)

“I pay heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributes to protecting the people of Scotland and offer my warmest congratulations to those recognised today.

“I am personally, and on behalf of policing in Scotland, deeply honoured and extremely grateful.”

Sir Iain, 55, was appointed Police Scotland Chief Constable in August 2018, having served as Interim Chief from September 2017 and as a Deputy Chief from December 2012.

PC Stephen Tanner
Pc Stephen Tanner is based on the island of Tiree (Police Scotland/PA)

Having graduated in law from the Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde, and following work as a solicitor, he joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1992, serving in uniform and detective roles, including as head of CID.

Sir Iain has undertaken attachments to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

He is a member of the Independent Steering Group for Operation Kenova, which is investigating offences alleged to have taken place in Northern Ireland.

Irene Ralston, 58, of Midlothian, joined Lothian Borders Police in 1987 and retired in February 2022.

During a career which spanned 35 years, she held roles in the CID, Drug Squad, Special Branch, Training Department and Professional Standards, latterly performing the role of Local Area Commander and Support and Service Delivery Superintendent in P (Fife) Division.

The force said she has been a champion of diversity and inclusion, establishing programmes of learning and support and leading change to improve the experiences of women in policing.

She said: “What a lovely surprise to receive this honour. I have recently retired and I cannot think of a better accolade to end my 35 years’ policing service. I am both honoured and humbled.

“Policing has evolved during my service, in particular, the environment for women in policing has positively changed and if I have contributed to that, even in some small way, it would make me incredibly proud.”

Police Constable Stephen Tanner, 51, has been based on the Island of Tiree, the most westerly island in the Inner Hebrides, since 2010, having joined Strathclyde Police in 1992.

As the island’s lone officer he is often called to help people at all times of the day or night.

During the pandemic, he volunteered to help the Scottish Air Ambulance Service with their planning to fly Covid patients from the island if required.

He said: “This has come as a great surprise to me and I am truly honoured to have been nominated for this award.

“My time covering the islands of Tiree and Coll has, on occasion, been challenging as a lone officer, however, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

“This month marks my 30 years’ police service and this is a fantastic way to mark that, I appreciate it greatly.”

James Bertram, 54, of Largs, Ayrshire, leads a health and safety team covering all aspects of safety including providing a 24/7 response to operational safety at significant incidents, and was heavily involved in dealing with the policing challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “I am honoured to have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and to be awarded the British Empire Medal in the Birthday Honours list.”

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