Legal eagle from Doncaster is new police watchdog

Barrister Carl Gumsley
Barrister Carl Gumsley

A lawyer from Doncaster has returned to his roots in Yorkshire – from a post on the far side of the world.

After two-and-a-half years as the most senior judicial figure on the Falklands Islands, Carl Gumsley is about to take up a role as a full-time operational commissioner with the Independent Police Complaints Commission for the next four years.

Part of his new function may involve overseeing the investigation into the death of 96 Liverpool football fans at Hillsborough, which is currently the subject of 96 new inquests.

Mr Gumsley, a former Doncaster Grammar School pupil who studied law at Sheffield University before being called to the Bar in 1989, will be starting with the IPCC at its office in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on Tuesday, May 27 after his appointment by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Commenting on the appointments of Mr Gumsley and a number of other commissioners, Anne Owers, IPCC chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome the new commissioners to the IPCC and am looking forward to working with them.

“This is a crucial time for the IPCC and for policing in general.

“Mr Gumsley’s extensive and varied experience will be a great asset to our operational, oversight and governance work.”

Mr Gumsley will be responsible for a number of police forces in the north of England.

Before becoming senior magistrate and coroner in the Falklands, he was a barrister at chambers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and occasionally sat as a Recorder at Crown Courts in South Yorkshire.

He and his wife, Jackie, will be staying with his parents in Bessacarr until they sort out new accommodation in Yorkshire.

His father, Peter, said: “It is a change in his work pattern, but one which will still involve seeking out the truth, so his past experience as a Judge will be invaluable.”

Commissioners have responsibility for specific police forces, as well as policing functions in customs and the UK Border Agency

As the public and independent face of the IPCC, they oversee investigations and specialise in a range of policy areas, as well as working to improve confidence in the complaints system.

While in the Falklands, Mr Gumsley dealt with crime, family and commercial law.