Belfast Telegraph

PSNI quiz Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police over awarding of police vehicle contracts

By Michael McHugh

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police has been quizzed about alleged bribery and misconduct in public office by detectives in Northern Ireland.

Mark Gilmore, who grew up in Belfast and spent most of his career there, was suspended on full pay by West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson following his former force's probe into the award of police vehicle contracts.

He voluntarily attended a police station in his native city last week for interview and PSNI detectives are drawing up a file to be handed to prosecutors who will decide whether to press charges.

A PSNI statement said: "Detectives are also preparing a file on a 49-year-old man following inquiries into bribery and misconduct in public office which were initiated by this investigation. He voluntarily attended a police station in Belfast last week for interview."

Seven men have been arrested by detectives working on the case and questioned on suspicion of offences including bribery, misconduct in public office and procuring misconduct in public office.

A member of police staff, aged 54, was detained in Co Antrim and released earlier this week.

Mr Gilmore has said he conducted himself with the honesty and integrity expected of someone in his position and had 31 years with an unblemished professional record.

He is from the Shankill Road area of west Belfast and attended the University of Ulster and Harvard in Boston.

He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in 1983, which has since been transformed into the PSNI.

According to the West Yorkshire Police website, during his years as an officer he has gained wide policing experience in roles such as uniform beat and patrol, drug squad, criminal investigation, intelligence, HQ management posts, roads policing, tactical support groups, firearms and public order.

He was part of the RUC's fundamental review team in 1995, led by the then deputy chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan. Its work played a major role in the reform of operational policing in Northern Ireland.

His career progressed, working as a staff officer for the deputy and then the chief constable before promotion to chief inspector and road policing commander for the Greater Belfast area.

Mr Gilmore then became a superintendent and as the commander for the Belfast region tactical support group, which deals with riots.

He was further promoted, working in Lisburn, went on secondment with Lancashire Police and in 2008 he was appointed as chief of staff to Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) president Sir Ken Jones.

Five years ago he became assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, then deputy chief of Northumbria Police in 2011.

He was appointed as the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police last year, replacing Sir Norman Bettison.

The married father of two grown up sons is a keen runner and enjoys sailing.

Retired PSNI assistant chief constable Duncan McCausland was arrested as part of the PSNI investigation.

After he was released, pending a report being sent to prosecutors for assessment, Mr McCausland strenuously denied wrongdoing and stressed his determination to prove his innocence.


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