Suspended Chief Constable accused of engaging in "angry outbursts and aggressive attacks"


A date has been set for the gross misconduct hearing regarding Simon Byrne, the Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, who was suspended in August 2017 following an independent 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. Having considered the evidence, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane determined that there is a case to answer for gross misconduct and the matter was referred to an independently chaired gross misconduct hearing.

The hearing is to be held in public from 16th April 2018 to 27 April 2018 (excluding 21 & 22 April) at Warrington Town Hall.

A report prepared for the hearing details incidents which took place between May 2014 and March 2017, which are described as amounting to gross misconduct.

The report states "You lacked self-control and exhibited volatile, unpredictable and offensive behaviour. You displayed a short temper and a lack of tolerance and engaged in angry outbursts and aggressive attacks upon subordinate staff which created an intimidating, hostile and humiliating environment for staff in the 'ACPO office' and which you knew or ought to have known would cause distress and anxiety to members of Cheshire Constabulary."

Mr Byrne is accused openly criticising, unnecessarily berating and belittling members of staff. References are also made to Mr Byrne making repeated phone calls which were were "so unreasonable in number and so demanding in nature" and sending 'nasty' or overtly critical emails about PA staff members to message inboxes which he knew were, or could be, seen by all staff in the office.

Simon Byrne's behaviour towards several members of staff is described as bullying and intimidating. The report states "You displayed anger of such a degree that you began to spit, wave your arms in the air and turned red in the face."

Additionally, it is alleged that the Chief Constable failed to attend lots of meetings, many of which were arranged at his request, which had been placed in his professional diary - leaving others to make excuses for his absence.

The report also lists various memorial days, award ceremonies, meetings and conferences which he is accused of failing to turn up to, despite being booked to attend and in some cases having agreed to be a speaker.

As a consequence it states that public funds in respect of pre-booked first class train tickets, accommodation and parking were wasted.

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.

Details of the charge can be viewed on the Police & Crime Commissioner's website.

Simon Byrne


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

Nick Jones
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:09 pm
There is no one better at wasting "public funds " than the PCC Keane , with his empire building at Stockton Heath, employing his cronies,..... Ironic ??
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:11 pm
They are really struggling on this one. Amounts to, "the boss shouts at me at times" and he can't be bothered to attend public functions, - he would rather be catching criminals.
Jonathan Follows
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:28 pm
This is precisely the reason for having the PCC in the first place, and the alleged behaviour is precisely the behaviour which likely led to a culture of bullying and intimidation at Cheshire East Council - the person in charge having a 'robust' style which his underlings translate into inappropriate behaviour and culture. Shouting at people at work is not trivial and can lead to a lot of unpleasant things and needs to be stamped out.

So perhaps the PCC is actually doing his job?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:28 pm
Can Keane cope with a proper copper or does he want a yes- person?
Alan Brough
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:37 pm
Policing is a very challenging job that places all kinds of strains on those engaged in it.

No place for "Snowflakes".......or at least it didn't used to be.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:44 pm
Shades of Anderton for those who remember the most misguided promotion in plod history.
Buster Wild
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 4:59 pm
I suppose he has been on full pay since he was suspended and will be allowed to retire gracefully on a full pension. Cheshire Police and Cheshire East Council need a full investigation. Just hope it isn't carried out by someone from the Old Boys network. Nod-nod wink-wink, carry on old chap.
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 5:15 pm
Buster - read the link. The amounts of money he is said to have "wasted" are insignificant when compared to the costs of the Office of the PCC. Also note the "witnesses" and the references to "she". When one of the allegations is that he was late for a "Womens Network Association Meeting" it tells you everthing you need to know.
Buster Wild
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 6:08 pm
Jackie - You are certain to receive a card on the 14th signed by S. People will think you know him quite well.
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 6:17 pm
Buster - don't know the man. What I do know is the whole process has a whiff about it. Still the criminals must be laughing.
James McCaig
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 9:20 pm
Sounds like the sort of man that at gets things done - job requirement doesn't include
wimps !
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 10:37 pm
If you’ve ever been a victim of bullying behaviour like this in the workplace, then you will know that a culture of abrasive and intimidating behaviour wears away on your self confidence and belief in your own competence like water wears away a stone - it can be truly debilitating - no matter how much you dismiss it as only words. Having experienced it as an employee, and having rightly been counselled as a manager to maintain my composure at stressful moments because of the impact it has had on my subordinates, I am not as quick to pooh-pooh this as other commentators are.
Kathleen Morris
Thursday 8th February 2018 at 12:41 pm
I am appalled at the number of people leaving comments which imply that they think bullying is a joke. Perhaps the real remedy is for some of you to find yourselves on the receiving end of it and then see whether it is still so funny. Bullying is not the same as 'getting the job done'; if it was, it would not be regarded as bullying.

This man is not being disciplined because it is alleged he has just spoken a bit brusquely to someone, or forgot to attend a meeting. Of course there will be occasions when, for good reason, he could not attend a function at which he was booked - that happens everywhere, and an apology/explanation is accepted. How about waiting to see what the real substance of the matter is before you make your minds up?

It also looks as though some people think money is only wasted if it is a large amount; I'm glad you aren't in charge of spending public money.
Nick Jones
Thursday 8th February 2018 at 1:22 pm
I am reliably informed that due to a change in regulations, He can retire. That being the case (should it occur) I doubt this hearing would then go ahead.
The conduct of ACC Rebekah Sutcliffe and her recent Gross Misconduct hearing (documented in press and IPCC website) threw G/M out of the window and basically downgraded her activities to become Misconduct. I don't condone this behavior BUT realistically I suspect there is a chance this could also occur again.
If the hearing does go ahead as planned I suspect the PCC may find himself wanting to a plethora of key questions about his management of this and other matters. Wait and see !
Martin Kitchin
Monday 12th February 2018 at 8:53 pm
Hello James McCaig,

You say

"Sounds like the sort of man that " at " gets things done - job requirement doesn't include wimps ! "

Maybe your comments were sad in jest, perhaps.

We wonder what is it that's wimpy about treating collegues with respect and profesionalism ?

Perhaps we have all misread your comments but you appear to be supporting inappropriate workplace behavior?