The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has responded to a decision by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to allow a senior officer who was suspended to return to active duties.

In a statement, a spokesman for the PIRC said:

"A number of allegations, alleging both criminality and misconduct, about a senior officer were referred by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to the PIRC between 6 November 2017 and 18 January 2018. 

"The PIRC has responsibility to investigate such allegations, made by complainers, to identify whether the evidence supports or refutes the allegations made and then to report to the COPFS and/or the SPA as appropriate."

"In this case, reports will be submitted to both the COPFS, in relation to the criminal allegations and to the SPA in respect of the misconduct allegations, for their consideration of any appropriate action. 

"The question of suspension is a matter for the SPA and is an entirely different process from its consideration of whether or not there is a case to answer by the senior officer. 

"The SPA may suspend a senior officer if it is satisfied that an effective criminal or misconduct investigation may be prejudiced if the senior officer is not suspended, or there are other relevant considerations, where the public interest requires the senior officer's suspension."