“The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents notes the Scottish Government’s decision to launch a public inquiry into the police action over the murder of Emma Caldwell. Our thoughts, as always, remain with Emma’s family and friends at this time.

“Police officers are the most scrutinised of public servants.  Decisions taken at all levels can be looked at for years with the benefit of hindsight – that comes with the nature of the job and we all accept and appreciate this.

“Our colleagues who were involved in this investigation will willingly work with the inquiry to provide the answers that are needed. Whilst accountability comes with the role – even long after retirement – we also must remember that there needs to be fairness, balance and understanding when it comes to looking into decisions made many years ago under extreme pressure and with best intentions.

“This public inquiry should be about learning lessons for all involved across the criminal justice system, not just those working in policing, acknowledging the progress made and better practices now well established.

“We as a staff association will be supporting our members still serving and those now retired through the inquiry process, and we would hope that it can be concluded to the satisfaction of all concerned in an appropriate timescale.”