Top police officer to face drug inquiry allegations

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The Independent Online
ONE OF Britain's most senior police officers faces an investigation tomorrow over claims that he passed sensitive information involving a drugs case to a convicted murderer.

An independent inquiry is likely to be appointed to look into the allegations against Tom Wood, the Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders, Scotland's second biggest force. He is alleged to have intervened in a drugs case involving the man, who served 13 years of a life sentence after being jailed in 1971 for stabbing a man to death.

Other allegations are said to claim that Mr Wood had some commercial involvement with the man. It is understood that the allegations arise out of a relationship, going back to childhood, between Mr Wood and the man.

Tomorrow a sub-committee of the local police board will meet to discuss the claims.

Sir Roy Cameron, the force's Chief Constable, to whom the allegations were made last week, is likely to recommend that a chief constable from outside the area is appointed to hold an independent inquiry.

Mr Wood, 50, is one of Britain's most respected officers. He won the Queen's Police Medal and rose quickly through the ranks to become the youngest officer to be made a superintendent.

Yesterday, Mr Wood said the allegations were "unfounded". He added: "I look forward to a full, independent inquiry."

A source close to the Deputy Chief Constable said that he was "very angry" about the allegations, which he believed to be completely unsubstantiated.

Mr Wood has had a high profile recently, criticising Scotland's policing of the drug trade as "chaotic" and recommending that a drugs tsar should be appointed.