Three Strathclyde Police officers have been given top jobs in Scotland's new national force.

They are among six officers appointed assistant chief constables for Police Scotland, which replaces the eight existing forces and becomes operational in April.

l Strathclyde Police Chief Superintendent Wayne Mawson will be assistant chief constable for local policing west.

l Deputy Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson becomes assistant chief constable for crime, serious organised crime and counter-terrorism.

l Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins will be assistant chief constable for operational support.

They will each be paid between £90,726 and £105,849 a year, depending on their experience, and will take up their new roles shortly.

They will be based at Police Scotland's interim headquarters at Tulliallan Castle, in Kincardine, Fife, although the three assistant chief constables with responsibility for local policing are expected to spend a large amount of their time in the community.

Former Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House has already been appointed chief constable of the new national force.

Mr House said: "The six assistant chief constables will play critical roles in the future of policing in Scotland."

Scotland currently has eight chief constables, nine deputy chief constables and 13 assistant chief constables, costing approximately £4.8million a year.

The new force will have one chief constable and four deputies, as well as the six assistant chief constables, costing less than £2 million a year.

It has been reported the new force could save £1.4 billion over 15 years by reducing duplication and working more efficiently and effectively.

Other new appointments are:

l Mike McCormick, previously deputy chief constable in Dumfries and Galloway, is the new assistant chief constable for local policing east.

l Derek Penman, acting chief constable of Central Scotland Police, will become assistant chief constable for local policing north.

l Lothian and Borders Police Chief Superintendent Malcolm Graham, the current divisional commander for Edinburgh, will take on the role of assistant chief constable for serious crime and public protection.