Exclusive: Probe after steam rises at police gym

Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton. Below: her partner Sgt Chris Beddis and Ch Supt Ian Whitehouse
Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton. Below: her partner Sgt Chris Beddis and Ch Supt Ian Whitehouse
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YORKSHIRE’S largest police force has begun an inquiry after two senior officers were confronted at a police station by one of their partners, who is also a serving officer.

Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehouse and Detective Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton, who both hold senior positions at West Yorkshire Police, were confronted by Ms Belton’s partner, Sergeant Chris Beddis.

Sgt Chris Beddis

Sgt Chris Beddis

Chief Supt Whitehouse and Sgt Beddis are understood to have been involved in a heated exchange during the incident, which happened at a gym in Killingbeck police station in Leeds.

The force said all three officers were off duty at the time.

Last night a spokeswoman said the officers had not been disciplined, but an investigation had begun into whether there had been a “breach of professional behaviour”.

“There is an inquiry under way to establish the facts, to find out what happened and to see if there is any breach of professional behaviour that we expect from all our officers.”

Ch Supt. Ian Whitehouse

Ch Supt. Ian Whitehouse

The force had earlier released a statement confirming there had been a confrontation at the police station.

It read: “We are aware of an incident last Saturday involving two off-duty officers in a gym run by the local sports and social club in Killingbeck Police Station when they were confronted by one of the officers’ partners.

“The officers involved do not work together and what they do in their own time off duty is not a matter for the force unless it compromises our own high standards of professional behaviour.”

Chief Supt Whitehouse, who has served the force for more than 24 years, is the lead officer involved in West Yorkshire’s planning for a national police helicopter service.

He joined the constabulary in July 1987 and was involved in a range of high-profile inquiries, including an operation targeting drug and gun crime, as he progressed through the ranks.

Before assuming responsibility for helicopter arrangements, he headed the force’s community safety and corporate review departments and served as divisional commander for North West Leeds.

Det Chief Insp Belton heads North East Leeds CID and her partner, Sgt Beddis, is an operational support officer based in Wakefield.

There was no answer yesterday at the detached home Det Chief Insp Belton and Sgt Beddis share in the North Yorkshire village of Burton Salmon.

Chief Supt Whitehouse did not respond when two requests for comment were made to his office.

West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents officers at ranks from constable to chief inspector, said it considered the incident to be a “private matter”.