The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Sex text chief constable gets vote of confidence
THE CONVENER of Tayside Police Joint Board has given a vote of confidence to Chief Constable Justine Curran after revelations she sent a sex text about a senior male colleague to her personal assistant.
Councillor Jimmy Black said he fully backed Ms Curran despite the force admitting her texts had not been “appropriately professional” and said the matter should be seen in the proper context.
Ms Curran reportedly sent the rude text to her former PATheresa Noble, about the size of a colleague’s manhood and his affair with a female civilian staff member.
The message exchange is said to have been started by Ms Curran asking whether the officer, who has not been named, was at the force’s Bell Street headquarters.
Ms Noble replied he was not and was probably with the person he was having the affair with. At that point, the police chief made the comment and Ms Noble was said to have replied: “Yuck.”
Ms Noble (47) and Ms Curran worked closely and were good friends — the personal assistant babysat the chief’s children at the officer’s home.
But Noble was arrested a few weeks after the text exchange and charged along with her partner Paul Martin with an alleged insurance fraud and wasting police time.
Councillor Jimmy Black, convener of the joint police board backed Ms Curran over the text messages and said an investigation had been carried out into the circumstances.
He said: “The members of Tayside Joint Police Board are satisfied that the allegations have been taken seriously, considered at the correct level throughout and dealt with appropriately.
“On behalf of the board, I wish to express our continuing and unqualified support to the whole force executive for their valuable work and contribution to the people of Tayside.
“In the light of the recent crime statistics, the chief constable clearly leads a very effective force and we need to see this matter in its proper context.”
A Tayside Police spokesman said: “There is no denial whatsoever that some of the correspondence may not have been appropriately professional.”
DundeeWest Labour MP Jim McGovern also fully backed Ms Curran, saying: “I have met Justine Curran on a good few occasions and I have got nothing but respect for her.”
North-East MSP Jenny Marra said: “I would hope that this matter was properly investigated by professional standards and discussed and debated by the joint board.
“These matters should be dealt with in exactly the same way, whether it is the chief constable or any other member of staff.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a matter forTayside Police and Tayside Joint Police Board.”
Dundee’s local SNP politicians said they had nothing to add to Mr Black’s comments while the Scottish Conservative Party also declined to comment.
The text exchange preceded Theresa Noble’s suspension after being charged with attempted insurance fraud and wasting police time, charges which were later
Jimmy dropped as she gave evidence at the trial of her former partner and co-accused Paul Martin, who was later found not guilty.
The messages were found on Ms Noble’s work phone, which led to disciplinary measures against two officers accused of exceeding their authority in dealings with the phone.
The force said the matter was investigated by and reported to the joint board.
A police source said the matter had caused the chief constable “extreme embarrassment”.
Ms Curran has been in charge of policing in Tayside for more than two years, having previously served as Deputy Chief Constable in February 2009. Earlier this year the force posted statistics showing it had met or exceeded almost all targets. Figures showed officers had surpassed their target of solving 46.5% of all serious violent crimes.