Yorkshire police chief suspended in probe

Published Friday, 20 June 2014
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The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire police has been suspended while an investigation is underway into the awarding of a number of PSNI vehicle contracts.

Mark Gilmore grew up in Belfast and spent most of his police career in Northern Ireland.

West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: "This morning I suspended the chief constable of West Yorkshire, Mark Gilmore.

"The reason for this suspension is as a result of information I have received from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) arising from an investigation announced by them earlier this week.

"I would like to stress that the suspension of the chief constable is a necessity in the public interest until the full facts have been established.

"I have also referred this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

"I sincerely hope that the PSNI investigation is concluded quickly in a way that could allow me to lift the suspension and Mr Gilmore to return to his post and continue the vital work to ensure communities are safer and feel safer.

"I will be keeping the suspension under review as the PSNI investigation proceeds and in the meantime I have asked deputy chief constable, Dee Collins, to act up as chief constable for West Yorkshire.

"It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comments at this time."

On Friday night, in a statement released by the Chief Police Officers Staff Association, Mr Gilmore said: "I wish to make clear that I have not been informed of my status in connection to the investigation being conducted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

"I have conducted myself with the honesty and integrity expected of someone in my position and have 31 years unblemished professional record.

"I have fully co-operated with the investigation and will continue to do so. I hope to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner to bring about a quick and positive resolution to this matter so I can return to serving the people of West Yorkshire as soon as possible."

Seven men have been arrested to date by detectives working on the investigation. Mark Gilmore was not among those detained.

Those arrested have been questioned on suspicion of offences including bribery, misconduct in public office and procuring misconduct in public office.

On Friday, a 48-year-old PSNI officer was released by police - but was suspended from duty.

Two men, aged 34 and 54, arrested in England earlier in the week were also released on Friday.

Former PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland was also arrested and questioned. He was released on Thursday evening.

A 37-year-old member of police staff released on Thursday has been suspended from duty.

Another man, a 62-year-old civilian, was released on Friday.

A 71-year-old man arrested on Thursday in Co Down was released on Friday evening.

All were released pending reports being sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

© UTV News
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