A POLICE chief received a commendation for “distinguished service” months after the force upheld a complaint of neglect of duty against her.

Former Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson was awarded the Queen's Police Medal despite Police Scotland ruling that she had not got back in touch with the wife of an undercover officer who had raised concerns about her husband’s welfare.

The retired undercover officer, who were are referring to as 'Peter' to protect his identity, says he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to his job and claimed lack of support contributed to the breakdown of his marriage.

Peter has accused the now abolished Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, and latterly Police Scotland, of “poor” welfare support.

In 2011, Peter’s then wife contacted Thomson, then a detective superintendent, about her husband’s welfare.

Four years later, she made a formal complaint to Police Scotland’s chief constable about Thomson’s handling of her concerns.

In May 2016, Carole Auld, chief superintendent in the Professional Standards Department, contacted the woman about the outcome of the probe.

One of the complaints had been “neglect of duty - failure to communicate” and this section of the response quoted the officer’s wife: “It was such a terrible time, I explained everything to Kate Thomson when she visited me...I was upset and crying. Kate said all the right things...she said she would help [Peter], support him, welfare him and make sure me and the boys were alright. My expectations at that point was that she would get back in touch with me.’

Auld said Thomson "agrees with your position that you did indeed raise these matters with her”.

She continued: “Thomson advises that as a consequence of your personal meeting...she set in motion an action plan for your husband to ensure his welfare was to the fore...Thomson agrees that in so doing the focus was upon your husband’s action plan and she accepts that she did not follow up contact with you.”

Auld concluded: “I therefore uphold this allegation and advise that...Thomson and Police Scotland apologises.”

Months after the “neglect of duty” complaint was upheld Thomson was awarded a QPM.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: "While Police Scotland accepts there was a failure to communicate with the officer's wife, this complaint was fully and appropriately investigated and a written apology given; in line with all complaint handling procedures the complainant was afforded the opportunity to refer matters to PIRC if she was dissatisfied."

Thomson did not provide a comment.