SPA Chair to step down

Published

Vic Emery to step down at end of 3-year tenure

PUBLISHED 6 JULY 2015 

Chair of the SPA, Vic Emery OBE has announced his intention not to seek reappointment following his current 3-year tenure as Chair which comes to an end in September 2015. 

Mr Emery’s decision to step aside follows a decision by the current Chief Constable, Sir Stephen House not to seek reappointment beyond 2016. Mr Emery has decided that it is more appropriate that the next Chair of the SPA is afforded the opportunity to play an instrumental role from the outset in the succession process required in appointing Police Scotland’s next Chief Constable and therefore building a strong relationship between those two new leaders from the outset.  

Mr Emery’s involvement in policing goes back 7-years since his appointment in 2008 as Chair of the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA). The SPSA was the first policing body in Scotland to be organised on a national basis.   

Announcing his intention to step down, Mr Emery highlighted the progress that he had witnessed within policing over the last 7-years and praised the Chief Constable for his personal commitment to the establishment and progress of Police Scotland. He said:
“It has been an honour to have played a pivotal role in Scottish policing over the last 7 years. Since becoming Convenor of the SPSA in 2008 and now as Chair of the SPA, I have witnessed remarkable improvement and progress in the effectiveness and efficiency of policing. 

“In forensic services we now have the UK’s only crime scene to court forensic service with the most sophisticated DNA testing capability in Europe, addressing major issues around confidence in fingerprints. 

“In police technology we are making major strategic investment to bring our IT and digital capabilities into the 21st century, addressing previous failings in project management and oversight.“In police infrastructure we are advancing long-overdue upgrades to police buildings in a long term estates strategy focused on responding to the needs of a modern police force and the communities it serves.

“Crucially we are also reducing the costs of organising policing, protecting service delivery and making it more sustainable for the future. 

“In police governance and accountability, the SPA has advanced a more proactive and strengthened approach in areas like strategy, finance and performance. In my remaining time with SPA this work will continue to be driven forward with vigour and without distraction. 

“In my time as Chair of the SPA, I have enjoyed a very effective working relationship with the Chief Constable. This relationship has been a crucial one and I wish to put on record my respect for the vast personal commitment he has made in establishing Police Scotland. Sir Stephen has been the right person to drive through a period of massive change in the organisation of operational policing in Scotland and I believe he has done an excellent job despite challenging circumstances. 

“The relationship between the Chief Constable and the Chair of the SPA is a key one. 


“I believe that the best way for that crucial dynamic to be forged would be for the Chair appointing the new Chief to have the opportunity to progress the appointment process and have the appropriate tenure to develop that key governance relationship going forward. 

“I also want to thank fellow board members and staff at the SPA and Police Scotland who have been instrumental in the reform journey so far. I have faith and confidence that the good work that is in train will continue and I look forward to my successor being able to build on that in the future.”

SPA Chief Executive John Foley said:

“Vic Emery’s contribution to policing over the last seven years cannot be understated. He has been a fair, robust and committed Chair who has led the SPA with strategic vision and integrity. He will leave the SPA and policing in a strong position to progress the reform programme and deliver strengthened and improved governance in policing.  I wish him well for the future.”

Vic Emery’s biography:

Vic was Managing Director of BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions, which managed the warship building business on the Clyde and the warship support and sustainment business in Portsmouth.Vic also sat on the operational Board of BAE Systems Plc from 2003 until 2008 and was awarded an OBE in May 2008 for services to shipbuilding.  A former Board Member and Chair of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and also currently Chair of the Scottish Maritime Museum. During 2014, Vic was appointed President of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Chair of Zero Waste Scotland. 

In the public sector, Vic was Convenor of the Scottish Police Services Authority and Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency from 2008 until 2013.  Between January 2011 and March 2013, Vic also played a major governance and advisory role in bringing the Edinburgh trams project back on track for completion.