South Yorkshire Police deputy chief ‘pulled over for driving offence on M1’

Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley
Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley
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The deputy chief constable of under-fire South Yorkshire Police was pulled over for driving without due care and attention on the M1, the force has revealed today.

Dawn Copley, who stood down as interim chief constable last month after it emerged that she was being investigated over her conduct at a previous force, attended a driver improvement course after being stopped by West Yorkshire Police traffic officers.

It is understood that Mrs Copley, who previously had a clean driving licence for 33 years, was pulled over for driving without due care and attention after being seen crossing over the white line on the motorway.

At the time of the incident she was driving the car issued to her by her previous force, Greater Manchester Police, and she revealed her position at South Yorkshire’s force after being asked why she was driving a police-owned car.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the Deputy Chief Constable was stopped by roads traffic police in a neighbouring force for driving without due care and attention.

“She accepted her penalty to attend a driver improvement course and has since attended. She only disclosed that she was a police officer when asked and at no point tried to influence the decision.

“She was treated like any other member of the public, and fully disclosed the matter to South Yorkshire Police.”

South Yorkshire Police did not reveal when the incident took place. The force released details of the incident in response to a Tweet by former Greater Manchester Police officer John Buttress.

While Assistant Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police, Mrs Copley was in charge of the force’s professional standards branch which investigated Mr Buttress over alleged mortgage fraud.

A criminal case against Mr Buttress was thrown out in 20 minutes, but the force pursued a case of gross misconduct against him and he was eventually sacked.

Mr Buttress claimed he was the victim of “corrupt practice” within the force’s anti-corruption unit and complained about misconduct within the force.

The report of an investigation by Kent Police into the matter has been given to Greater Manchester Police for consideration.

Mrs Copley was forced to stand down from her role as interim South Yorkshire Police chief constable when details of the probe were reported last month.

She had been appointed as chief after the suspension of her predecessor David Crompton following the Hillsborough inquests.

But in a statement, police commissioner Dr Alan Billings said Mrs Copley did not want “any further negative publicity or criticism to be levelled at the force” and would step down “in the interests of the force and the workforce”.

North Yorkshire Police chief constable was later given the top job at South Yorkshire Police while a permanent appointment is found.