Suspended Chief Constable set to be forced to resign or retire from South Yorkshire Police

David Crompton
David Crompton

South Yorkshire's suspended Chief Constable is expected to be forced to resign or retire from his post.

A group of councillors who make up the Police and Crime Panel in South Yorkshire met last week to discuss the fate of David Crompton and made a recommendation that the county's Police and Crime Commissioner orders him out of the post.

Dr Alan Billings, who oversees the way South Yorkshire Police is run and performs, has the power to hire and fire those at the top.

He is now considering the Police and Crime Panel's recommendation that Mr Crompton is asked to resign or retire.

The suspended police chief, who was already due to retire in November after more than 30 years' service, was suspended in April after the jury at the Hillsborough inquests returned verdicts that fans had been unlawfully killed and found that the actions of South Yorkshire Police played a part.

The jury found that the behaviour of football supporters did not cause or contribute to the disaster.

Mr Crompton said his force accepted the verdicts and wider findings and apologised unreservedly.

But he was criticised for the stance taken by his force's lawyers during the inquests, with the behaviour of fans called into question, which was at odds with an apology Mr Crompton made in 2012 after a report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel found that South Yorkshire Police had sought to deflect blame for the disaster on to Liverpool supporters.

In response, Mr Crompton issued a second statement, in which he said he was not attempting to 'defend the failures of South Yorkshire Police or its officers' but they had to be put into the 'context of other contributory factors'.

Then Home Secretary, Theresa May, said she was 'disappointed' with Mr Crompton's remarks and said the force should have recognised 'the truth' and been 'willing to accept that'.

A statement issued by the Police and Crime Panel yesterday read: "The Police and Crime Panel found that the Chief Constable’s decision to publish the second statement was a catastrophic error of judgment for two reasons.

"Firstly because of the inevitable risk that it would be perceived as rowing back on the previous apology and not accepting the inquest verdicts, and secondly because the statement suggested that South Yorkshire Police was not learning from its past failures and continued to be defensive and to put the protection of its own reputation above the welfare of the families.

"Given the damage that the second statement did to the reputation of South Yorkshire Police and the continuing damage which would have been caused to that reputation if the Chief Constable who had made it remained in post, the Police and Crime Panel found that the Police and Crime Commissioner was justified in his decision to suspend the Chief Constable.

"The recommendation of the Police and Crime Panel is that the Police and Crime Commissioner should call upon the Chief Constable to resign or retire."

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