Cheshire Police chief constable suspended after gross misconduct hearing

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The chief constable of Cheshire Police has been suspended after an investigation found he had a case to answer for gross misconduct, the force's police and crime commissioner has said.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said Chief Constable Simon Byrne had been suspended pending the conclusion of a gross misconduct hearing.

Mr Keane said: "Following allegations made in late 2016 against Chief Constable Simon Byrne and following advice from the IPCC, a local investigation conducted by an external police force has been underway in accordance with the statutory police conduct regime.

"Following receipt of the investigation report, and having carefully considered the evidence, I have determined that there is a case to answer for gross misconduct with regards to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.

"This matter must now be referred to an independently chaired gross misconduct hearing.

"In light of this determination, I consider that the public interest requires that Mr Byrne be suspended pending the conclusion of the hearing.

"Deputy Chief Constable McCormick will be undertaking the role of Acting Chief Constable."

Mr Keane said he would not be making any further comment to "preserve the integrity of the on-going process".

An independent inquiry into the claim related to Mr Byrne was ordered last year but the nature of the allegation made against him was not disclosed.

Mr Byrne has headed up the constabulary since June 2014 and previously served as an assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police and assistant chief constable with Merseyside Police.

The married father-of-two was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) last year.