Yorkshire police chief cleared over 'nepotism' allegation

A SENIOR Yorkshire police officer said tonight he was "relieved" to have been cleared of helping a relative get round part of the recruitment process to become a Pc.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs of North Yorkshire Police will still receive "management advice" as a result of the investigation into his conduct.

The watchdog said full details of the case could not be revealed until a separate hearing into his boss Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell has taken place.

Mr Maxwell was also accused of trying to help a relation get into the force in February.

Mr Briggs released a statement which said he had been cleared of acting dishonestly and seeking to gain an advantage for a relative.

It said: "DCC Briggs was cleared of allegations that he acted without integrity or honesty; that he abused his powers; that he discriminated unfairly and unlawfully; that he failed to abide by force policy or gave unlawful instructions and that he behaved in a manner apt to bring discredit upon the force and undermine public confidence.

"On the sixth matter the panel felt that he should receive advice regarding his judgment in not challenging the Chief Constable in a particular way, something Mr Briggs acknowledged in March."

As a result of that misconduct, he will be given management advice.

Today's meeting was held at North Yorkshire Police Authority headquarters and was chaired by John Murphy, Chief Constable of Merseyside.

Afterwards Mr Briggs said: "I am relieved to have been completely exonerated on all allegations concerning my honesty and integrity and all suggestions that I sought to procure an advantage for a relative in the recruitment process. I have not and would never do such a thing.

"I accept the findings of this panel and the advice that I should have counselled the Chief Constable in a different way, something I have acknowledged from the very early days of this matter.

"I am pleased that the panel saw fit to put matters back into perspective and I regard this judgment as proportionate and just.

"The past 10 months have been very difficult for myself and my family. Now I just want to put it behind me and continue to help deliver the best policing service to the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York."

North Yorkshire Police was inundated with thousands of calls when would-be recruits tried to phone the force to ask for a job application pack after 60 positions were advertised.

Mr Maxwell is thought to be the first UK chief constable in 35 years to face a disciplinary hearing, and could be sacked if the allegation is upheld.