South Yorkshire Chief Constable suspended in wake of Hillsborough verdicts

South Yorkshire PCC Dr Alan Billings has suspended the force's chief constable in the wake of the Hillsborough verdicts
South Yorkshire PCC Dr Alan Billings has suspended the force's chief constable in the wake of the Hillsborough verdicts
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The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Dr Alan Billings, has suspended South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton with immediate effect, following the verdicts in the Hillsborough inquests.

The verdicts ruled that the 96 people who died in the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground back in 1989, had been unlawfully killed and their deaths were due to failures by South Yorkshire Police.

In a statement, Dr Billings said: “Following the result of the verdicts yesterday, the continuing criticism that has been directed at the Chief Constable and the eroding trust and confidence in South Yorkshire Police I have been left with no choice other than to suspend David Crompton from his duties as Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police.

“I have reached this decision with a heavy heart following discussions with David Crompton both in the run up to, and following the delivery of the Hillsborough verdicts.

“My decision is based on the erosion of public trust and confidence referenced in statements and comments in the House of Commons this lunchtime, along with public calls for the Chief Constable’s resignation from a number of quarters including local MPs.

“The suspension is with immediate effect pending a legal process.

“I said yesterday that I want to work with the force, the Home Secretary and national policing bodies to continue to develop the qualities and culture within the force that will rebuild trust and confidence.

“As a result of other retirements this can begin with the establishment of a new senior leadership team.

“Following the announcement last month by David Crompton, that he was intending to retire in November, I began the planning process for appointing a new Chief Constable.

“The new Chief Constable must provide strong and focussed leadership for South Yorkshire Police with an emphasis on building the trust and confidence of the public in their police force.

“All this means that in the coming months South Yorkshire Police will have a new leadership team who will be able to provide a fresh start and tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

“I am also proposing today (Wednesday) a new partnership between the Force and the public, brokered by my office.

“This will require the new senior leadership team to engage more fully with the people of South Yorkshire in order to learn and improve. This new partnership will also continue to support the work of the force in embedding the Code of Ethics.”