Nicola Sturgeon has rejected claims of a "crisis" in Scottish policing following the resignation of the head of the Scottish Police Authority.
Opposition leaders today hit out at a "toxic mix of chaos" in the police service after Professor Susan Deacon's quit and launched a broadside at "fundamental flaws" in police accountability.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie claimed the police is "in crisis once again" during First Ministers Questions today. Prof Deacons's departure means there have been three chief constables, as well as three chairs of the SPA and four chief executives recent years.
"Yet the Justice Secretary thinks the organisation is in a good place," Mr Rennie added. "Isn't this just a toxic mix of chaos and complacency?"
But Ms Sturgeon dismissed the Lib Dem leaders' claims.
The police is not in crisis and it I think it does a disservice to the police officers around our country working so hard to keep us safe" she stated.
"The chair of the SPA has tendered her resignation. She has her own reasons for doing that."
She added: "In the meantime the vice-chair of the SPA will get on with the job of responding to the recommendations that have been made by this Parliament's committee by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary by continuing the improvements that are continuing to be made to governance and accountability.
"And we will continue to support the police officers of our country doing the fantastic job they do day in, day out, keeping crime levels low and making sure the public of Scotland are kept safe."
Labour's Richard Leonard said a report earlier this year by inspection body HMIC found the the SPA is not holding the Chief Constable of the national force to account and was failing on transparency, with a warning that scrutiny was in need of "radical overhaul."