A senior officer in Police Scotland has been suspended following a “criminal allegation”.
The officer is understood to be Police Scotland Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Pat Campbell.
He is executive lead for organised crime, counter-terrorism and intelligence, which also covers border policing, cyber crime and digital forensic, having taken up the role a year ago.
Campbell is senior responsible officer for cyber capabilities, cyber strategy and technical surveillance.
The force’s oversight body, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), confirmed the suspension of an officer in a statement.
Prosecution service the Crown Office has instructed police watchdog the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate the allegation.
A senior officer can be suspended if an allegation, if proven, would be sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct or if the nature of the allegation means suspension is in the public interest.
In its statement, the SPA said: “The Scottish Police Authority has suspended a senior officer from Police Scotland duties.
“The decision was taken after a criminal allegation was brought to the authority’s attention.
“The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner is investigating this allegation under direction from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
“The suspension is effective from Wednesday 1 December and will be reviewed regularly, or if there is a change in circumstances relevant to the suspension.”
Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “I can confirm that a senior officer from Police Scotland has been suspended by the Scottish Police Authority.
“This is in connection with a criminal investigation being carried out by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
“The chief constable has reviewed Police Scotland’s command structure to ensure the organisation continues to meet operational demand.”