Edinburgh's top policeman under investigation for ‘public indecency’

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Edinburgh’s most senior policeman has been reported to the procurator fiscal amid reports of public indecency with a woman in a car park.

Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair, 48, was reportedly discovered by police with the woman inside a car at Hermiston park and ride on Tuesday after a member of the public complained about a couple “in a state of undress”.

Chief Supt Gareth Blair

Chief Supt Gareth Blair

It is claimed the officers who attended were initially “discouraged” from taking the incident any further, but senior officers insisted action had to be taken.

An insider was quoted saying: “A member of the public called it in because they saw two people in a state of undress in a car. Cops turned up to investigate and, of course, they recognised him.

“There was a conversation whereby they were discouraged to take it any further.

“But it came out later and it was immediately escalated up the chain of command. What else could you do — it happened when it was still daylight.”

It is understood Mr Blair, who is married with one son, is currently on holiday from work but could face being suspended when he returns.

Police have passed a complaint to the Crown Office who instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to launch an investigation. It is not clear if the woman has also been reported.

Capital-born Mr Blair grew up in Portobello and joined police force in 1990 based at the West End.

He has been based in Edinburgh for most of his career from sergeant to superintendent to chief superintendent, working in every area of the Capital in different uniform or CID roles.

He also helped in setting up Police Scotland as a single force in 2013 and had a national role as detective superintendent dealing with organised crime and counter terrorism.

And he was head of Scotland’s elite crime squad for two years before being appointed Edinburgh divisional commander in June last year.

A Police Scotland biography describes him as a fitness fan who loves golf and holidays.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “Police attended a report of alleged public indecency in Edinburgh on Tuesday May 21.

“The circumstances have been highlighted to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service who has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to investigate.

“Police Scotland will fully co-operate with the PIRC’s enquiries.”

A spokesman for PIRC said: “We are investigating allegations of potential criminality against an officer of Police Scotland and it would be inappropriate to comment further on a live enquiry. A report will be submitted to the COPFS in due course.”