A SCOTTISH police chief who was reported to the crown office in relation to a road traffic accident has announced she is retiring.
Norma Graham, Scotland’s first female chief constable and the head of Fife Police, was reported to the Crown Office two months ago after the accident on her way to work.
Fife Police today denied there was any link to the case, insisting the 49-year-old was stepping down after serving for 34 years.
A spokesman for the force suggested Graham’s retirement was related to the move to a single police force for Scotland.
Graham was slightly injured on Tuesday February 7 after her Audi Quattro was involved in a collision with a Renault Clio near her HQ in Glenrothes.
Fife Police officers investigated the crash in February this year, which occurred just after 8am, on a 90-degree left-hand bend on the icy B922 Cluny-Kinglassie road.
Both cars were badly damaged in the accident and a Fife police spokesman at the time described the road conditions as “treacherous.”
Investigators are said to have had to search for Graham’s mobile phone following the crash because it contained many sensitive numbers.
On February 24, the Crown Office revealed that Graham had been reported to them by Fife Police in connection with the accident.
A Crown Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the Procurator Fiscal has received a report concerning a 49 -year-old woman in connection with an incident on 7 February 2012 .
“The report remains under the consideration of the Procurator Fiscal.”
Graham was appointed Chief Constable in July 2008, said in a statement: “It has been an absolute honour to serve the communities of Fife as Chief Constable for the last four years.”
Graham said it had been “a privilege to lead the dedicated and hard working officers and police staff of Fife Constabulary who over the last seven years have been instrumental in almost halving crime in the Kingdom.”
She added: “I am incredibly proud of the way my people have achieved the force vision of Taking Policing Closer to the Community and for the exceptional performance delivered in recent years.
“It is the same officers and staff who will continue to deliver for local communities regardless of police reform. The future of policing in Fife remains in the very best hands.”
A spokesman for Fife police said: “Police officers normally retire after 30 years. Her length of service is over 30 years, she started as a cadet.
“I think you’ll find she won’t be the only one retiring, because of the change to a single service.
“We can quite categorically say it is not related.”
A member of the Fife Police Board, the council body which oversees the force, said in his view the crash would not have been enough to harm Graham’s career even if the Crown Office decided to prosecute.
Cllr Bob Eadie said: “An RTA wouldn’t be a case of professional negligence. It’s an offence but it’s a relatively minor offence. Nobody was killed.”
Asked to comment on Graham’s departure, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (ACPOS) said: “34 years is a pretty good innings. It’s not sudden at all.”
On joining Lothian & Borders Police in 1978, Graham rose to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of criminal investigation.
Appointed Assistant Chief Constable in Central Scotland Police in 2002, Mrs Graham later moved to Fife as Deputy Chief Constable.
She was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for Services to Policing in 2008.
The force hailed her commitment to local engagement and said crime had fallen by just over 4% in 2011/12, and detection rates were at 60%.
Speaking at the time of the crash, a spokeswoman for pressure group Scotland’s Campaign against Irresponsible Driving said another force should investigate the accident.
She said: “A crash involving a chief constable should be investigated by another force or, even better, a completely independent group.
“Public confidence in the police is vital, and that would only happen in this case if there is a totally transparent inquiry.”