BBC News and other media sites are reporting the arrest of a senior Police Officer from Lothian & Borders Police, Chief Inspector Allison Strachan, who is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and four counts of breaching data protection laws.
Chief Inspector Allison Strachan has appeared in newspaper reports before in connection with her now former lover, ex Lothian & Borders Police Chief Superintendent Douglas Watson who after his own retirement, moved into the field of ‘complaints against lawyers’ after being appointed to the much hated Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill in 2008.
BBC NEWS reports :
A senior police officer has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and four counts of breaching data protection laws.
Ch Insp Allison Strachan, 49, from Edinburgh, made no plea when she appeared at the city's sheriff court.
The Lothian and Borders Police officer is accused of accessing information from work computers between October 2006 and May 2010.
The case is due to call in court again later this month.
Reporting restrictions which were imposed on the case last week have now been lifted following a challenge by BBC Scotland.
And now, some history from the web (with links of course) :
Date: Nov 3, 2002
Publication: Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Byline: STEPHEN RAFFERTY; EXCLUSIVE
A POLICE chief in charge of a £1million task force is having an affair with a pretty woman officer on his team. Chief Superintendent Douglas Watson hand-picked Allison Strachan to join his special unit after she was promoted to inspector. But the pair, who are both married, are now an item after ditching their partners. Their affair started after Watson was put in charge of a massive review of the way Lothian and Borders Police works.
Watson plucked Strachan from her admin job at the force's Fettes HQ. She joined the task force that is leading to a city-wide super-division. He was set to take charge of the new division but insiders say revelations of his love- life may scupper his chances of the top job. He was allowed to hand-pick a team of 22 officers for the Capital Project, who have been based at Dalkeith, Midlothian, for the past eight months.
More than £1million has been spent on the project by the Edinburgh-based force, including wages, computer equipment, cars and travel. But fellow officers are furious after it emerged Watson is having the affair with one of his team. He has left his wife of four years and Strachan has left her police constable partner.
Officers have criticised Watson's new relationship, saying it damages the image of the force and the reputation of the task force. One senior officer said: "This affair brings the force into disrepute. He is one of our highest ranking officers and is messing around with an officer on the team. It throws up questions about his judgment. He personally selected every officer for this project and that includes Strachan."
Watson was expected to take over as commander of the new 1000-strong super division next year. It is the second time he has walked out of a marriage. He ditched his first wife 11 years ago when he began an affair with his present wife, Anne, who was then a 19-year-old secretary at police HQ.
In October 2000, the Sunday Mail revealed how Watson, who was then head of the CID, called off a surveillance operation on a dangerous paedophile who was prowling a busy beach. Watson claimed the operation on notorious James Clark was too costly. Watson and Strachan exchanged regular e-mails to each other before they started working together. They would also meet at Greens gym in west Edinburgh, where they are both members.
Strachan's partner, John Donoghue, is shattered by the news but refused to comment. A friend said: "John has been suspicious for a long time but, when he confronted Allison, she totally denied anything was going on. "All the signs were there - she'd hide her mobile phone bills, was always sending e-mails and became secretive. She has been away on trips to England. Watson was also away but she would never tell John which hotel she was staying at and he could never get her on the phone.
"John bumped into Watson the other week at the gym and he was all smiles. He even had the brass neck to ask John how things were going." On Thursday, Watson was briefing the Chief Constable Paddy Tomkins and other senior officers at a special conference held at the Hilton Edinburgh Airport Hotel but he left early to meet his lover.
Strachan was attending a seminar at the city's Western General Hospital but left sharp to meet up with Watson. When she arrived at her parents' home in Kingsknowe, Edinburgh, his Mercedes car was already parked there. He and Strachan have refused to make any comment about their affair and Lothian and Borders Police say it is a "private matter."
Date: Feb 1, 2004
Publication: Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Byline: By STEPHEN RAFFERTY
ONE of Scotland's top police officers commandeered a patrol car to take him home after visiting his police woman girl friend in hospital. Chief Superintendent Douglas Watson's unscheduled 60-mile taxi ride is being investigated by his force's professional standards unit. The probe into Watson's actions comes as Lothian and Borders Police are under fire over the time they take to respond to crime reports.
By cadging a lift from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to his £300,000 home in Peebles he removed a constable and a patrol car from operational duties for more than two hours. Watson is in charge of the force's A Division, with more than 1300 officers under his command. He had been visiting hospital to see his police woman lover, Allison Strachan, who had been injured when she fell from her horse.
Watson has already been criticised by some colleagues over his controversial initiative to change how Edinburgh is policed. As head of Operation Capital, he led a hand-picked team of officers and spent more than pounds 1 million to enforce his plans. The shake-up merged three divisions into one superdivision A Division. But some officers and politicians have claimed it has led to fewer officers on the streets and delays of up to three days for victims of crime to be visited.
Lothian and Borders' professional standards unit has interviewed PC Mischeck Muchemwa, who was given the task of driving Watson home, then returning to his HQ a 60-mile round trip. A senior officer said: ''He took a driver and a car away from operational duties for almost two hours when they may have been needed for emergencies.''
Watson is no stranger to controversy. He dumped his second wife, Anne, and has been having an affair with Inspector Strachan, who he picked to work with him on Operation Capital. In October 2000, as head of CID, he called off a surveillance operation which was tracking a dangerous paedophile. Sex beast James Clark, who had just been released from prison, was roaming Porto bel lo beach and was being tailed by detectives who feared he was about to strike again. But Watson called off the watch on the grounds that it was too expensive. The decision led to a furious row with Detective Chief Inspector Ian Mitchell, who was in charge of the operation. Watson's response was to order an internal inquiry into who leaked the surveillance story to the Sunday Mail. Senior officers were deployed to find the mole at a greater expense than the round-the-clock watch on Clark would have cost. The then Chief Constable, Sir Roy Cameron, eventually saw sense and called off the inquiry.
Lothian and Borders Police declined to comment on Watson's taxi ride.
and more recently :
By STEPHEN RAFFERTY and KEVIN O’SULLIVAN
Published in THE SUN newspaper : 24 September 2010
SEX-storm cop Allison Strachan was last night accused of "putting it about" with total strangers — in a series of kinky swinging sessions with her Army hero lover. It comes after a shock dossier was handed to police top brass detailing how Strachan and Regimental Sergeant Major Robert Penman reportedly advertised for partners on a kinky website. The couple are said to have posted snaps of themselves naked, with one allegedly featuring Strachan, 48, performing a sex act on a man. She is now at the centre of a Lothian and Borders Police investigation over fears it will have left her open to blackmail by crooks.
But Chief Inspector Strachan will also be quizzed by professional standards officers over claims SHE is blackmailing Gulf War veteran Penman, 40, to stay with her. Last night a source said: "She and her soldier lover have been putting it about with complete strangers which demonstrates a serious lack of judgement. "They have used pseudonyms, but there is a real risk that if someone recognised her from TV appeals or from policing a major event they could use knowledge of her lifestyle to their advantage."
The high-level investigation was launched after a complaint from RSM Penman's distraught wife. Shattered Caroline Penman, 44, sent the force a file said to detail the couple's unorthodox sex habits. It reportedly contains graphic X-rated snaps of the couple, details of an ad on extreme sex website fabswingers.com — and the blackmail allegations. The procurator fiscal's office is overseeing the probe because a serious criminal allegation has been made against a police officer.
Chief Insp Strachan — in charge of Edinburgh's Corstorphine police station — has been removed from normal duties and is deskbound. It's believed the top policewoman — a mum of two — first met Penman while she was on duty at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the career soldier was stationed at Edinburgh Castle. RSM Penman spent 23 years with the Black Watch, serving in Iraq twice, Northern Ireland, Belize and Hong Kong — but recently switched to an administrative role with the Royal British Legion in Edinburgh. He dumped his wife and two teenage kids just weeks after she moved home to be with him in the capital. Unknown to Caroline, he'd been having an affair with Strachan for more than a year.
The lovers are now living together at Strachan's home in Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, which she previously shared with Chief Superintendent Douglas Watson, 59 — former head of CID. Strachan and Penman have been accused of placing intimate details on a swingers website to make contact and arrange meetings with other extreme sex partners. The posting is said to have given explicit details of sexual preferences and highlighted the type of partners wanted. And the website reportedly features photos of the brunette cop and full-frontal naked pictures of Penman. One snap allegedly shows knickerless Strachan wearing only a black bra and in another she is seen in a pink bra. Other photographs are said to show her breasts and in one scene she appears to be leaning over with her bottom in the air, wearing hold-up stockings and a matching black bra and thong. The most graphic image reportedly shows Strachan performing a sex act. It is alleged she is wearing the same distinctive necklace she wore when she appeared on a recent national news bulletin for a missing persons appeal.
Using the name "rob and chris" — Christine is Strachan's middle name — the pair described themselves as a "happy professional Edinburgh couple". The webpage contained a number of "verifications" from fellow swingers who leave messages of approval. One posted on June 7 said: "Wonderful afternoon of nakedness spent with this intelligent couple". When signing up to use the swingers' website, couples must tick off a list of sexual preferences and activities they are willing to take part in. They range from adult parties, cross-dressing, dogging and spanking to threesomes, group sex, role play and voyeurism. Couples looking for sex contact each other through instant messaging, webcams or phone calls to organise meetings which take place in their own homes, hotels or at house parties. The website also lists organised swinging events.
Strachan has been the public face for a number of Lothian and Borders police operations, including the policing of anti-war protests during a Nato summit in the capital. Recently she fronted a TV appeal for information on missing Edinburgh mum-of-three Betty Brown, 55, who vanished three months ago. A police source said: "Strachan's reported sleazy activities are reckless and not the kind of behaviour which is acceptable if you are a senior police officer. "Strachan thinks she is untouchable. She has enjoyed a charmed career but this time she may have gone too far." Professional standards cops spent four hours interviewing Mrs Penman at her home on Tuesday.
When approached by The Scottish Sun she refused to comment. Mrs Penman said: "My family has been destroyed and this is hard enough to deal with. I've got nothing to say, please leave us alone." But a family friend said: "Caroline and Robert had problems but he talked her in to giving up her job and coming to Edinburgh to make a fresh go of things. "Caroline was only here a matter of weeks when he said he was going back to Allison. The children are disgusted with their father." Strachan and Penman refused to comment on the police investigation or the swinging allegations.
A Lothian and Borders Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm a complaint has been made and is currently being investigated. "The officer has been removed from operational duties."