Extended scrutiny of the new single police force is needed to ensure there are "no cover-ups" of situations such as the Hillsborough disaster, the chairman of the police oversight body has said.
Vic Emery, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), said that while Scotland has not experienced the scandals seen by police services south of the border, it should not be assumed they could not happen.
Mr Emery said the SPA, which is tasked with scrutinising the single force, will work closely with the Police Investigation and Review Commission (PIRC), which will investigate serious wrongdoings in the service.
His comments came at the annual policing conference in Edinburgh as he shared a platform with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and single force Chief Constable Stephen House just five weeks before the single service goes live.
Mr Emery told the audience: "I would accept that we have not seen the same kind of scandals that the police service down south have brought upon themselves. But try telling the family of a Hillsborough or a phone hacking victim that scrutiny is not important.
"We must not be complacent and assume it couldn't happen here."
He went on: "We in the SPA now want to be able to say to the Chief Constable and his team: 'look you have started a major investigation and pulled in lots of resources. Tell us why you need to do that. Was there a different method that could have been more effective?'"
Mr MacAskill reiterated pledges that Scotland would not follow the route of England and Wales, including measures such as the privatisation of services such as forensic science. The Justice Secretary said he saw more similarities between Scotland and Northern Ireland, than with England and Wales.
Mr MacAskill said: "I think I see similarities. They (Northern Ireland and Ireland) wish it to remain a public service. They too do not wish to go down the situation that has played out south of the border.
"We are certainly not going down the direction they (England and Wales) have gone with forensics and we would prefer to co-operate with our Irish cousins."