Revealed: How West Yorkshire police chief was able to retire despite misconduct allegations

The former chief constable of Yorkshire's largest police force was able to retire amid misconduct allegations, despite new regulations to prevent such actions.

Mark Gilmore, West Yorkshire Police's former chief constable.
Mark Gilmore, West Yorkshire Police's former chief constable.

West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson explained the circumstances surrounding Mark Gilmore’s resignation as he renewed a pledge to publish the misconduct investigation report.

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 last April and the suspension was lifted, Mr Gilmore became the subject of a misconduct investigation by Lancashire Police and never returned to his post.

An independent report from Lancashire Police was received by the crime commissioner on July 26 and Mr Gilmore’s retirement was announced on August 9.

The circumstances surrounding his resignation were raised during the latest meeting of the county’s police and crime panel, which holds both the force and commissioner to account.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “He was able to retire because the misconduct allegations came to my notice before January 12, 2015, when new police service regulations came into force.

“The new regulations require the appropriate authority’s consent for resignation or retirement of officers subject to allegations.”

The legislation says officers cannot leave until any gross misconduct case has concluded or it is confirmed that they will not face a dismissal hearing.

It was introduced in a bid to ensure officers subject to allegations would be held to account.

The investigation findings have not yet been made public.

Mr Burns Williamson said the investigation findings would be shared as fully as possible.

“I have committed to publish as much of this report as I can,” he said. “I’m presently taking legal advice.”

He said he was due to meet the investigating officer this week to discuss what could be learned.

The process of recruiting a new chief constable has also begun.