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Beleaguered West Yorkshire Police chief Mark Gilmore to retire

Published 09/08/2016

West Yorkshire Police chief constable Mark Gilmore is to retire (Northumbria Police/PA)
West Yorkshire Police chief constable Mark Gilmore is to retire (Northumbria Police/PA)

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police is to retire, having never returned to the post two years on from his suspension from duty.

Mark Gilmore, a former Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer, was suspended in 2014 on full pay by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson in the wake of a PSNI probe into the award of its police vehicle contracts.

Ten months later Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said the Belfast-born commander, who always denied any wrongdoing, would not face any charges.

A total of nine people, including a number of other police officers, were questioned as part of the PSNI investigation into the vehicle contracts. None were ultimately charged.

While Mr Gilmore's suspension was lifted in the wake of the PPS announcement he did not return to his chief constable's post, as Mr Burns-Williamson commissioned Lancashire Police to conduct a separate investigation into his professional conduct as an officer.

As that probe was being carried out, he took on a temporary role in what was described as a "transition project" for the National Police Chiefs' Council.

With the outcome of the year-long investigation still to be made public, Mr Burns-Williamson said Mr Gilmore had now informed him of his intention to retire.

Deputy Chief Constable Dee Collins, who has been acting as temporary chief since 2014, will continue to lead the force while the process to find a new top officer begins.

"Today the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has received notification from Chief Constable Mark Gilmore of his intention to retire from the service," said a statement from Mr Burns-Williamson's office.

"A recruitment process will begin in due course but in the meantime Dee Collins will continue in post as Temporary Chief Constable of West Yorkshire."

At the time of his initial suspension in June 2014, Mr Gilmore, who attended a police interview in Belfast voluntarily, insisted he had always acted with honesty and integrity.

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