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11 November, 2019


PCC statement following gross misconduct hearing of former chief constable


David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire has issued a statement following the conclusion of the gross misconduct hearing of former chief constable Simon Byrne.

Mr Keane said: “I have today published the independent panel’s report in relation to the misconduct proceedings regarding former Chief Constable Byrne.”

Read: the report of the independent panel has been published on the PCC’s website.

“The independent panel has stated in its report that the allegations against Mr Byrne are not proved and are therefore dismissed.

“Multiple allegations were made against the former chief constable and the North Yorkshire Police investigation identified multiple cases of misconduct to answer.

“When faced with such allegations against the county’s chief constable, I believed I had no realistic alternative but to place the matter before an independent panel for determination of the facts.

“Any other course would have been against my core values of fairness and openness, and I will not oversee a police service where such allegations aren’t taken seriously.

“This process has been time-consuming and costly due the complexities of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012.

“Incidentally, the government, who set the regulations, has announced it is amending the process in which complaints against chief officers are dealt with. This is a sign that it recognises the current process needs changing.

“The panel, in concluding their findings, did identify that chief constables in a case such as this would benefit from formal mentoring and that this type of support may, in future, prevent a similar situation leading to an investigation and misconduct hearing of this nature.

“I agree with this recommendation and will encourage the NPCC to take it forward.

“There will be a number of people who remain significantly affected and will need to be supported. I would ask that their feelings are respected.”