NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Senior officer 'annoyed' over blue lights order

A senior roads officer was "annoyed" a junior police officer was ordered to drive under blue lights before a collision, a court has heard.

Insp Ian Kirkwood said he felt Pc Ashley Forbes, 33, had been put in a "pretty bad position".

Pc Forbes had been driving Ch Insp Tom Forrester, who was then head of roads policing at the Grampian force, to Aberdeen Airport in November 2008.

Pc Forbes and Ch Insp Forrester deny dangerous driving.

The court has heard how Ch Insp Forrester and another colleague, Insp James Wood, were running late for a flight to Birmingham to attend a conference.

Insp Kirkwood told Aberdeen Sheriff Court he felt Pc Forbes had been put under pressure by Ch Insp Forrester to activate the lights and siren to get to the airport.

He said that Pc Forbes came to speak to him after the collision, which happened on the B977 Dyce to Belhelvie road.

'Under pressure'

And he himself was later interviewed under caution because he was suspected of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

During the interview with Professional Standards, Insp Kirkwood told officers: "I remember at the time Ashley was thinking, 'No it's my fault' and I remember saying, 'You were put under pressure to put on the blue lights and sirens to get to the airport on time'.

"I first of all reassured him that collisions can be sorted out, I don't mean they can be covered up.

"I was quite annoyed about Tom's course of action.

"I felt that Ashley had been put in a pretty bad position because he was acting on the instructions of the chief inspector."

He added: "My view still is that Ashley hasn't done anything wrong."

Ch Insp Forrester also denies wilful neglect of duty.

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