BREAKING: Sir Norman retires with immediate effect

Sir Norman Bettison
Sir Norman Bettison

Sir Norman Bettison has resigned as chief constable of West Yorkshire Police with immediate effect.

West Yorskhire Police Authority made the announcement today (Wednesday) that it has accepted his resignation.

Sir Norman had been due to retire in March but had faced calls for him to go early.

His resignation was tendered this morning, before a meeting of the Authority’s special committee to consider matters arising out of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report.

He has has been referred to the IPCC over allegations he provided misleading information after the 1989 disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

Sir Norman said: ”The Police Authority, and some of the candidates in the forthcoming PCC elections, have made it clear that they wish me to go sooner. I do so, not because of any allegations about the past, but because I share the view that this has become a distraction to policing in West Yorkshire now and in the future.

“I have therefore agreed to retire within the statutory notice period. It has been a privilege to serve the public as a Police Officer for more than 40 years and I wish the Force and the Police Service every success for the future.”

Vice-chairman of the Police Authority, Councillor Les Carter said: “I can confirm that the Police Authority has accepted Sir Norman’s resignation with immediate effect. The media attention and Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation is proving to be a huge distraction for the Force, at a time when it is trying to maintain performance and make savings of £100million. We therefore believe that his decision is in the best interest of the communities of West Yorkshire.

“Sir Norman has been West Yorkshire’s Chief Constable since 2006. It should be recognised that Sir Norman has served West Yorkshire well. He has reduced crime, increased confidence in policing and made a huge contribution to neighbourhood policing. On behalf of the Police Authority, I would like to thank him for what he has achieved here and wish him the best for the future.

“The continued leadership of the Force is of paramount importance and I have asked the Deputy Chief Constable, John Parkinson to take up the role of acting Chief Constable, subject to the formal approval of the Full Authority.”