PAT Chalmers's article, The long arm of the snapper (February 16), appears to be in part a justification of the actions of Grampian Police Board's handling of the Dr Ian Oliver case.

It is interesting that the whole episode only came to light after Dr Oliver had publicly criticised a Scottish Office Minister. Voltaire said, ''In this country it is considered a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others''.

The assertion that Dr Oliver, ''A man once vocal, now silenced, represented by a lawyer, a breed of men he despises, faced by a slavering press pack which he loathes and brought to book by 15 councillors whom he finds contemptible'', shows that on these issues Dr Oliver shares the views of the majority of the general public.

I have no doubt that the newspaper editors, who reported extensively on Dr Oliver's alleged peccadillo, will be queueing up with open chequebooks to serialise his memoirs. These should make interesting reading and may have an effect on the political aspirations of some of the protagonists.

Thomas L Inglis,

7 Menzies Avenue, Fintry. February 16.

I AM a retired police officer and have been following with interest the demise of the Grampian Chief Constable, Dr Ian Oliver. To say I was surprised at the Grampian Police Board's decision not to take disciplinary action against Dr Oliver would be putting it mildly.

I am sure that had it been a constable caught visiting his girlfriend in similar circumstances there would have been no hesitation in charging the officer with breaches of the police discipline code. I would think that in the case of a constable such offences as absenting himself from his place of duty, misuse of a police vehicle, and behaviour likely to bring the police service into disrepute would have been the offences considered.

I would suggest that the board's decision not to take disciplinary action against Dr Oliver, based on cost, will in the end have a more long-lasting cost in terms of the Grampian force's morale. How now can any future Grampian Chief Constable punish junior ranks for breaches of discipline without facing accusations of one law for senior ranks and another for junior?

Surely those who aspire to senior positions in public service are well-paid and should not also expect preferential treatment when they break the rules. They should lead by example and if anything expect to be punished more severely for breaches of discipline.

Alistair Watson,

62 Falloch Road,

Milngavie. February 16.