A DISGRACED detective who was under investigation after she illegally read police files has quit – but only after securing a full pension.
Chief inspector Allison Strachan, 50, has also faced allegations that she and her lover, a married soldier, had sex with strangers they met on a swingers’ website.
She has been suspended from Lothian and Borders Police for 20 months on full pay as the criminal case against her and the inquiry into her conduct progressed. But she will now avoid internal disciplinary action or any sanctions after she decided to retire having notched up 25 years’ service.
Strachan, who lives in Craiglockhart, was fined £400 by Edinburgh Sheriff Court in March after a probe found that she had breached the Data Protection Act by looking up prohibited information on the official police database. She pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining classified information about individuals at various police stations in the force area.
An internal investigation was then launched. But under police pension rules, officers qualify for a full pension once they serve for 25 years.
The Scottish Police Federation’s pensions calculator indicated that Strachan, who it is believed was paid around £55,000 a year, is entitled to a lump sum of more than £77,000, and then an income of £19,250 a year.
John Lamont, Tory chief whip, said: “Cases such as this only increase public scepticism.”
A source at the police force was quoted saying that other officers were “furious” that Strachan was able to go so quietly. The source added: “The financial difference in retiring with 25 years’ service compared to 24 years 11 months is immense.”
In August 2010, Lothian and Borders Police confirmed they were investigating claims that Strachan was involved in inappropriate behaviour with regard to her personal life.
It is understood she was cleared of those allegations, but then she was suspended over the Data Protection Act claims.
A force spokesperson said: “On conviction of this officer in March, police immediately started the disciplinary process and it was under way when the officer indicated her intention to retire.”