Chief constable investigated over anonymous allegations over conduct
THE chief constable of Tayside police is to be investigated by her own police authority after a series of anonymous allegations about her conduct.
Justine Curran, the only woman in the running to become chief constable of Scotland’s single force, has been the subject of allegations made by an anonymous group who claim to be serving officers within the Tayside force.
The allegations, which have not been made public, were made in a dossier of complaints received by two members of the Tayside Joint Police Board. Another anonymous letter, containing similar allegations, has also been received by the same two councillors from an unknown source.
Last month, Councillor Jimmy Black, the convener of the police authority, pledged his support for Ms Curran following revelations she had sent an inappropriate text about a male colleague to her former personal assistant.
A spokesman for Tayside Police said at the time that the correspondence between Ms Curran, a 44-year-old mother-of-two and her former personal assistant, “may not have been appropriately professional” but no disciplinary action was taken against the chief constable. She is now facing fresh complaints made by a group of officers who have called themselves “the loyal staff of Tayside Police”.
Councillor Black said yesterday that it was likely the board’s initial investigation would be conducted by Sheona Hunter, the clerk to the joint police board, and that there would be no need for officers from an outside force to be brought in.
He said: “It should be stressed that these are anonymous allegations and they could be completely made up by somebody who has nothing to do with Tayside Police – or they could be more serious than that and they could be what they say they are.
“At the moment, we simply have a couple of anonymous letters which make a number of allegations.”
Councillor Black said he had first been made aware of the allegations on Monday.
He said: “I don’t want to disclose what the allegations are because, at the moment, my duty as convener of the board is to enquire into them. There are two separate documents, both anonymous, and both cover mostly the same ground.
“I have prepared a list of questions, which I have sent to the clerk, and we are now going to try and see if we can find the answers to those questions. The questions are all based on the allegations made in the letters.”
Councillor Black added: “If somebody makes allegations, we have a duty both to the public, but also to the staff involved, to investigate those allegations and try and find out what the real story is and take the appropriate action – even if they are anonymous.”
He added: “I said a month ago that I had every faith in the chief constable and I still do have every confidence in her.”
A spokeswoman for Tayside Police said Ms Curran would not be commenting. She added: “Tayside Police has not received a copy of the anonymous letter, directly or indirectly.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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