WEST Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison has announced his retirement.
The force’s most senior officer has decided to step down while an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry about his role in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 is under way.
In a statement yesterday, Sir Bettison said: “Recent weeks have caused me to reflect on what is best for the future of policing in West Yorkshire and I have now decided to set a firm date for my retirement of 31 March 2013.
“The record of my leadership of West Yorkshire Police will speak for itself. Crime is down and public confidence is up.
“I remain very proud to serve the people of West Yorkshire and work alongside the committed and professional police officers and staff of West Yorkshire Police.”
Sir Bettison, who has served as chief constable since 2007, is under investigation after the IPCC received a complaint that he had supplied misleading information after the disaster at the Sheffield football ground, when 96 people were killed.
A further complaint was made after he made a statement following the report which said Liverpool fans’ behaviour made policing the incident “harder than it needed to be”.
He later issued an apology for his comments and said Liverpool fans were in no way to blame for the disaster.