Yorkshire chief constable's future still not resolved two years after suspension
The future of a Yorkshire police chief constable suspended from his role two years ago is set to be resolved 'in the near future', it is claimed.
Mark Gilmore, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, was suspended on full pay in June 2014 amid an investigation into the allegedly corrupt award of police vehicle contracts in his native Northern Ireland.
Despite being told he had no criminal case to answer last May, he has yet to return to his post and has since been the subject of a misconduct investigation by Lancashire Police.
Instead of returning to his old job after his suspension was lifted he has been working on a “transition project” for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the successor body to the Association of Chief Police Officers
The staff association representing senior officers said today that he “remains committed to serving the communities of West Yorkshire” and wants the matter to be “resolved as soon as possible”.
And police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said the Lancashire investigation was “due to report back in the near future”.
A spokeswoman said: “The IPCC decided that this matter should be subject to a local investigation and Lancashire Constabulary agreed to conduct this investigation on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“They have kept the PCC fully briefed on the progress and direction of their independent investigation and they are due to report back in the near future.
“Mark Gilmore has been temporarily redeployed to work with the National Police Chiefs’ Council while the investigation takes place. It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”
Chief Constable Mark Polin, chairman of the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association, said: “Mark Gilmore remains committed to working alongside the police and crime commissioner to serve the communities of West Yorkshire.
“We are disappointed at the length of time the investigation has taken, which follows satisfactory resolution of the Northern Ireland and IPCC investigations, and Mr Gilmore looks forward to this matter being resolved as soon as possible.”
The decision not to prosecute Mr Gilmore was announced last April by prosecutors, who said there was “insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.”
Mr Gilmore, who grew up in Belfast and spent most of his career there, was one of several officers who faced claims including bribery, misconduct in public office and procuring misconduct in public office.
He was suspended on full pay in June 2014 – a little over a year after his appointment – when details of the investigation came to light.
Mr Burns-Williamson said the suspension was “a necessity in the public interest until the full facts have been established”. Dee Collins took over as Temporary Chief Constable.
At the time of his suspension, Mr Gilmore, who attended police interview in Belfast voluntarily, insisted he had always acted with honesty and integrity.