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PoliceOracle.com reveals why an additional referral was made to the IPCC over Sir Norman Bettison.
Sir Norman Bettison’s alleged attempt to influence his police authority over Hillsborough was so serious it could have led to his dismissal, documents obtained by PoliceOracle.com show:
Minutes from West Yorkshire Police Authority’s Special Committee meeting show that Sir Norman – then the force’s chief constable – had been in contact with chief executive Fraser Sampson shortly before a decision was taken to refer him to the IPCC over his alleged actions following the 1989 disaster.
“The integrity of the police handling of the complaints process was directly engaged by this matter”
Sir Norman was at the match that day but off duty. However, concerns were raised about his conduct in the aftermath of the disaster following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in September.
The former chief constable, who was due to retire in March 2013, has since resigned but is facing an IPCC probe into the alleged attempt to influence the “decision-making process” of the police authority, in relation to his contact with Mr Sampson.
Previously no information surrounding the additional IPCC referral had been given – but PoliceOracle.com made a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of two meetings, which were held in private.
The documentation relating to the initial meeting on September 15 this year does not reveal exactly what Sir Norman and Mr Sampson discussed but the committee agreed to talk about the matter further at a later date.
When the committee met again on October 3, it agreed the chief constable’s conduct during the conversation could constitute misconduct and agreed to refer him to the IPCC on top of the original referral.
It noted that the allegations of trying to influence their decision, if proven, could have led to his dismissal.
“The integrity of the police handling of the complaints process was directly engaged by this matter,” the minutes say.
Sir Norman resigned on October 24, the day the committee was due to meet again to discuss whether to suspend him.
Although his conduct is under IPCC investigation, he cannot be subject to misconduct proceedings as he is no longer a police officer.
Sir Norman could not be reached for comment. When he resigned, he vehemently denied any wrong-doing and said he would co-operate fully with the watchdog.
The original police authority referral to the IPCC concerned allegations that Sir Norman was part of a team involved in providing "misleading information" following the disaster.
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Sir Norman's Alleged Conduct 'Could Have Meant Dismissal'
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