Eight months on and still no sign of West Yorkshire police chief’s conduct report

Former West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore. Picture by Tony Johnson

Former West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore. Picture by Tony Johnson

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A report into the conduct of former West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore has yet to be published nearly eight months after it was received by the county’s police commissioner.

Mark Burns-Williamson says the dossier cannot be released because it “is still going through the data management and legal processes in regards to privacy and data protection”.

The people of West Yorkshire have a right to know, we were effectively left without a chief constable for two years and to sit on this for so long makes matters worse not better.

Andrew Carter

But a senior Leeds councillor has criticised the delay in publishing the report by Lancashire Police, saying the public of West Yorkshire had a right to know its contents.

Mr Gilmore, who was told in 2015 that he had no criminal case to answer in relation to the allegedly corrupt award of police vehicle contracts in his native Northern Ireland, announced his retirement on August 9.

This was two weeks after an independent Lancashire Police report into his conduct was received by police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson on July 26.

Mr Gilmore was suspended from his role as chief constable of West Yorkshire Police in June 2014 amid an investigation into the allegedly corrupt award of police vehicle contracts in his native Northern Ireland.

Although he was told he had no criminal case to answer in April 2015 and the suspension was lifted, Mr Gilmore became the subject of a misconduct investigation by Lancashire Police and never returned to his post.

It later emerged that he was able to retire despite facing misconduct allegations at the time, because changes to police procedures stopping this from happening only came into force after the allegations were raised.

After his suspension was lifted last year following the decision by prosecutors in Northern Ireland, Mr Gilmore worked on a “transition project” for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the successor body to the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group on Leeds city council, said he had been asking for the report for months using the Freedom of Information Act.

He said: “The people of West Yorkshire have a right to know, we were effectively left without a chief constable for two years and to sit on this for so long makes matters worse not better.

“It starts to look like the PCC is trying to brush everything under the carpet.”

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “The independent report from Lancashire Constabulary into conduct issues in relation to Mark Gilmore is still going through the data management and legal processes in regards to privacy and data protection.

“Unfortunately we are not able to specify when this process will be completed at this time due to the complexity of some of those issues, but are continuing to work through these matters as diligently as possible.”

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