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COPS' GRASS CASH QUIZ; Two suspended over lost money.

A POLICE force is probing claims that money has been stolen from a fund set up to pay informers who tip them off about crimes.

Two officers, a man and a woman, have been suspended as part of the investigation.

The inquiry centres on claims that crooked police creamed off cash from funds set aside for informers.

Sergeant Mike Napier and WPC Fiona Elder were officially suspended last week by Tayside Police chiefs based in Dundee.

They worked with the criminal intelligence department and drugs squad.

Most large police forces have funds to pay underworld insiders money to "grass" about crimes, including drug dealing, armed robbery and murder.

Tayside is known to pay certain trusted informers, usually criminals or people on the fringes of criminality.

It's alleged that the missing money was used to pay for nights out and expensive meals.

A Tayside Police insider said: "We are all shocked by the nature of the allegations. Both are well- liked and respected by their colleagues."

WPC Elder, who recently married, was considered to be a high flyer and was tipped for early promotion.

She and Sergeant Napier had worked closely on several inquiries.

Yesterday, senior officers declined to comment officially on the nature of the allegations and described it as an internal matter.

But a spokesman for Chief Constable William Spence said the two officers were the subject of an ongoing inquiry, adding: "We can confirm that two officers have been suspended.

"A report has gone to the procurator fiscal. "

The fiscal is now considering whether to bring criminal charges.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 13, 1999
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