West Yorkshire police chief Mark Gilmore has suspension lifted

Mark Gilmore.Mark Gilmore.
Mark Gilmore.
West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable Mark Gilmore will have his suspension lifted - but will not yet return to his role at the force.

Mr Gilmore, who was suspended on full pay nearly a year ago, was told in April that he would not face prosecution in his native Northern Ireland as part of a probe into the alleged corrupt award of police vehicle contracts.

Today, West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said that Mr Gilmore’s suspension would be lifted on Monday.

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But instead of returning to his old job he will work on a “transition project” for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the successor body to the Association of Chief Police Officers, while a separate conduct investigation is carried out by Lancashire Police.

Mr Burns-Williamson said in a statement today: “Today I can confirm that as of Monday, May 18, I will be lifting the suspension of West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable, Mark Gilmore.

“Mark Gilmore was suspended in the public interest while a criminal investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was carried out.

“The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland recently concluded that there was no criminal case for Chief Constable Gilmore to answer. In light of this decision I have determined that the public interest requirement for suspension no longer applies.

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“There remains however a legal requirement for me to consider conduct matters in relation to the police standards of professional behaviour and an independent investigation will be carried out by Lancashire Police.

“While this conduct investigation takes place Mark Gilmore has agreed to work on a transition project for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and to delegate day to day operational control of West Yorkshire Police to his deputy Dee Collins who has, in his absence, acted as the Temporary Chief Constable.

“I will continue to work alongside Dee Collins and colleagues in West Yorkshire Police in the interests of people across the County, focused on making sure our communities are safer and feel safer.”

The decision not to prosecute Mr Gilmore was announced on April 15 by prosecutors, who said there was “insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.” For the last month Mr Burns-Williamson has been reviewing Mr Gilmore’s suspension.

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Mr Gilmore, who grew up in Belfast and spent most of his career there, was one of several officers who faced claims including bribery, misconduct in public office and procuring misconduct in public office.

He was suspended on full pay in June – a little over a year after his appointment – when details of the investigation came to light.

At the time Mr Burns-Williamson said the suspension was “a necessity in the public interest until the full facts have been established”. Dee Collins took over as temporary Chief Constable.

At the time of his suspension, Mr Gilmore, who attended police interview in Belfast voluntarily, insisted he had always acted with honesty and integrity.