Board backs Tayside police chief despite claims over her conduct

Tayside Chief Constable Justine Curran. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THE chief constable of Tayside has secured the full backing of the area’s police board following an investigation into 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, had been the subject of allegations made by an anonymous group who claimed to be serving officers within the Tayside force.

Members of the joint police board met in private in Forfar to discuss the findings of an internal report into the allegations sent to two members of the police authority and a local newspaper by a group of officers calling themselves “the loyal staff of Tayside Police”.

Councillor Jimmy Black, the convener of the board, later announced no action is to be taken against Ms Curran, ruling that there was “no case to ­answer”.

He said after the meeting behind closed doors: “Following our own investigation, board members have considered the content of the anonymous allegations and unanimously ruled that there is nothing to substantiate these claims and, therefore, no case to answer. As such, there will be no further inquiries.”

Mr Black added: “In rejecting the claims, we found it extremely disappointing that people chose to send anonymous letters to the media, rather than going through well-established and transparent grievance procedures, of which Tayside Police is an excellent practitioner. Such actions only serve to diminish the reputation of a high achieving police force, its officers and staff.

“If those people who made these allegations truly had the best interests of Tayside Police at heart, they would have come forward in the correct manner.

“If any police officer or staff member has concerns, I would urge them to follow the procedures available to them. Such procedures ensure that all complaints are taken seriously, even those given in confidence, and are open to external scrutiny.

“On this occasion we felt it appropriate to seek clarification, but as a board we will not generally entertain anonymous complaints.”

He added: “This matter has caused hurt to Tayside Police and to individuals concerned. Meantime, our force continues to perform to very high standards in all areas of their service delivery.”

Last month, Cllr Black 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.

A spokesman for the police board said Ms Curran would be making no comment about the police authority’s decision.

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