Cheshire's Chief Constable suspended over claims of gross misconduct

simonbyrne

Simon Byrne, the Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, has been suspended following an independant investigation into his conduct.

An allegation about the Chief Constable's conduct was made towards the end of 2016, which was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and then passed back to the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner for a local investigation - which has now been completed.

Having considered the evidence, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane has determined that there is a case to answer for gross misconduct and the matter will be referred to an independently chaired gross misconduct hearing.

David Keane said: "Following allegations made in late 2016 against Chief Constable Simon Byrne and following advice from the IPCC, a local investigation conducted by an external police force has been underway in accordance with the statutory police conduct regime.

"Following receipt of the Investigation Report, and having carefully considered the evidence, I have determined that there is a case to answer for gross misconduct with regards to Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Discreditable Conduct. This matter must now be referred to an independently chaired gross misconduct hearing.

"In light of this determination, I consider that the public interest requires that Mr Byrne be suspended pending the conclusion of the hearing. Deputy Chief Constable McCormick will be undertaking the role of Acting Chief Constable.

"I will not be making any further comment on the matter at this time in order to preserve the integrity of the on-going process."

Mr Byrne received the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service or gallantry in June 2016.

His career began in 1982 on the beat in the Paddington and the St John's Wood area as a Metropolitan Police officer. Three years later, he transferred to Merseyside Police where he worked in uniform, CID and at Headquarters, and in 2002 he took the lead role as the police commander for policing Knowsley.

He transferred to Greater Manchester Police in 2009 as Deputy Chief Constable then returned to the Met in 2011 where he headed up the largest operational command in the country, running day-to-day policing in London.

In June 2014 Mr Byrne returned to his home county, to become Cheshire's Chief Constable.

Tags:
Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner, David Keane, Simon Byrne
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Barry Stafford
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 4:16 pm
Great!! Another top official, follows several at Ches East council.All on huge salaries whilst suspended.Who appoints these people??? Baz
Julie Lowe
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 4:32 pm
It would be interesting to know just how many tax payer funded public servants are being paid full salaries to sit at home all summer! These investigations should be made a priority to save wasting any more public money! Isn't it time that the people who made these appointments is brought to account?
Jackie Pass
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 5:20 pm
Which "external" police force investigated I wonder? As to the stand in whilst our Chief Constable is suspended - the CV of the Deputy can be found here https://www.cheshire.police.uk/about-us/chief-officers-and-senior-staff/deputy-chief-constable-janette-mccormick/
Nick Gabriel
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 6:22 pm
As previously stated, the rot within Cheshire Police has now been openly confirmed, right from the top of the tree to the bottom. Should any person need confirmation, of the fact that IPCC failed to prosecute an officer whom breached a Crown Court judges orders, and written confirmation from Cheshire Police that the same did so, I am happy to provide.

The wharped and twisted rot in this force is absolutely disgusting !!

And sitting at home on full salary, what an absolute P**s take of the residents whom pay their grossly inflated salaries.

About time the law was applied correctly.

In consideration of the above, I DARE you to publish this for public viewing. Which is justified for the Council Tax payees.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 6:54 pm
Not worthy of comment until we know the details after the case.
Stephen Hayes
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 7:11 am
Cheshire Police has failed since the days of Peter Fahy and will continue to do so with such appalling leadership. Of course this man, however corrupt will be allowed to retire on a full pension having been paid in full whilst the so called investigation took place.
I find the quality of your article content leaves a great deal to be desired . It is repetitive, poorly written and gives no detail of the gross misconduct allegation.
Jackie Pass
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 8:50 am
Stephen - details of the allegations have not been released into the public domain - yet.
Nick Jones
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 10:20 am
We don’t know the facts, and don’t know the nature of the complaint, So without detriment, but in comparison; ACC Rebekah Sutcliffe, down the road in GMP [ At a Nationally attended hotel function, flashing her breasts, abusing a senior officer, under the influence etc ] was found GUILTY OF GROSS MISCONDUCT but not dismissed because of her previous good character.. this set a new standard.. Gross Misconduct - No dismissal.
Simon Byrne is nobody’s fool; If this reaches a public hearing I’ve no doubt the antics of PCC Keane’s appointment of Dirir- family friend & deputy – previous colleague Astley, empire building at Stockton Heath, all at considerable expense from the 1.9% increase to the policing precept, and taking funds away from the Chief Cons policing budget, will become scrutinised and aired in any hearing as Keane referred the complaint and therefore must know all the facts. He surely wouldn’t expect the CC to be judged differently to him ?
Ironic that Keane dismissed his Policing Panels objections to these 2 appointments though and their complaints about his conduct in these matters. Quote; Cllr Howard Murray “It is the perception of your office, it is the perception of your integrity and your judgment. This worries us because you have such a fundamental part to play in the efficiency of the constabulary and the safety of the people of Cheshire”… “This panel has no power of veto over your appointee. You could indeed have appointed your mother, As long as that person was not a criminal and not insane or criminally insane then this panel would have approved them, because that’s what it says.”
So we can only watch and see at this stage !
Jackie Pass
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 11:24 am
Agree Nick we have to wait and see what the alleged gross misconduct amounts to.

Re the PCC I see that the cost of the Office of the PCC is now out for this year - namely £814,849 - an extra £27,762 compared to last year. I note that this "extra" sum is before the "reorganisation" of the Office of the PCC - ie. before the appointment of his Deputy on a higher salary than the previous occupant and before the appointment of a Chief of Staff (was called Chief Executive) on a higher salary. Still by next year I'm sure that figures can be adjusted.
Stuart Redgard
Friday 25th August 2017 at 11:23 pm
# Jackie Pass.

FOI made to Cheshire PCC.

Dear Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please provide the details of the external police force who conducted an investigation into allegations made late last year against Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

Please also provide the rank of the most senior officer who oversaw the investigation.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Redgard
Stuart Redgard
Monday 25th September 2017 at 2:46 pm
Today I received a response from my FOI request to Cheshire PCC.

Dear Mr Redgard,

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) which was received in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
for Cheshire.

In accordance with section 1(1)(b) of the Act the response of the Office
of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire is below:

· Please provide the details of the external police force who conducted an investigation into allegations made late last year against Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

North Yorkshire Police

· Please also provide the rank of the most senior officer who oversaw the investigation.

Chief Constable

If you are not satisfied with the decision applied in this case I attach
for your information the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for
Cheshire's review procedures.

Ben McCrorie
Website: [1]www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk
Twitter: [2]Follow CheshirePCC
Facebook: [3]Like Cheshire PCC
Register for updates: [4]Cheshire PCC Alert
Jackie Pass
Monday 25th September 2017 at 3:30 pm
Many thanks Stuart. I assume that this was the investigating officer https://northyorkshire.police.uk/about/our-people/1248-2/.
Jonathan Follows
Monday 25th September 2017 at 4:51 pm
Thank you, Stuart, but am I right in assuming that this information was not originally provided and you therefore had to resort to your FOI request to obtain it?
If so, it speaks volumes to me about the attitude of the people who go out of their way to publish as little information as they think they can get away with.
Excuse me if I go on, but when I worked recently as a public servant I made sure that I published information to the maximum amount possible and used the FOI legislation as a good guideline on what should be published, so that if I ever received a FOI request (I never did) I could simply point to the information already made public.
Essentially - why on earth was the information you had to request not made public in the first place?
Jackie Pass
Monday 25th September 2017 at 7:08 pm
Jonathan of of course you are correct that such information as this should not need to be requested. On the other hand take a look at the end of the FOI. So you see what you do get is links to social media, with masses of "promotion" and each link having a photo of the PCC.
Pete Taylor
Monday 25th September 2017 at 8:58 pm
When Camoron rushed to copy the US model of an "elected" (less than 10% participation, to me, is not a mandate) Commissioner, was there any mechanism put in place to subject the PCC to the same level of scrutiny as the Chief Constable?

Why do these "investigations" take so long? We currently have five ongoing at CEC and this one seems to be completely silent/secret.

Time to wind up both CEC and the role of PCC?