Replacing a scandal-hit former Tayside Police chief’s “cursed” post is proving a £159,000-a-year poisoned chalice.
Humberside Police has been forced to re-open the application process for candidates to put themselves forward to be the force’s next Chief Constable after only one suitable candidate applied.
Interviews for the position of Chief Constable – in the wake of what is being described as “the Currangate debacle” – were due to take place this week but have been delayed to allow for a “competitive interview process”.
Potential applicants have now been set an extended deadline to be considered for the role following Justine Curran’s enforced retirement.
A police source said: “It’s a disaster but it can’t be surprising that there have been no takers for this particular poisoned chalice.
“Curran’s time in office was dogged with controversy and she was effectively sacked so why would anyone want to take this on when it could be a career ender?”
Ms Curran recently stepped down following a vote of no confidence from staff and before the publication of a critical inspection report which said the force had been failing victims of crime.
Her tenure at the head of the force was the shortest since its creation in 1974 and she had been labelled Humberside Police’s “virtually invisible” top officer.
Ms Curran made the switch to Humberside in 2013 after three years at the helm of law enforcement strategy in Dundee, Angus and Perthshire which was not without controversy.
A spokesman for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside said: “The vacancy for the post of Chief Constable for Humberside Police was advertised widely and applications were originally closed on April 2.
“Following the shortlisting process we only found one candidate that met the expectations of the panel.
“To enable a competitive process the panel agreed that they would like to go back out to the market and see if there was any additional interest in the post.
“The OPCC welcomes the opportunity to discuss the role in more detail with any potential candidate that feels they may like to find out more.”
Ms Curran was appointed deputy chief constable of Tayside Police in February 2009, taking the top job a year later when Kevin Mathieson stepped down.
In 2012 she was embarrassed after an internal probe discovered she had sent text messages to her former PA about the size of a colleague’s manhood.
Another investigation was carried out after an anonymous three-page document listing a raft of complaints about her behaviour was submitted to The Courier and then passed to Tayside Police.
She was cleared of all allegations made against her before the document was allegedly stolen from a secure unit in Tayside Division headquarters in Dundee’s Bell Street.
An investigation was dropped without the culprit being found.
Ms Curran, had been due to retire in September 2018, but announced her departure earlier this year, saying the “time is right” to leave.
According to the brief, the successful Humberside candidate “must be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to serving the public and a collaborative style of working with fellow officers, myself and partners to deliver excellent services for the public.”
A recent inspection carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in September graded the overall effectiveness of the force as “requires improvement” and stated that there was “serious concern” within Humberside Police.