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Fedster

Misconduct investigation was 'unfair' says Cheshire chief

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Fedster

Allegations against the police chief were laid out in a 21-page document published earlier this year.

8C5DCCA6-4B5F-4120-ABB5-ACC8EA525926.jpeg

An investigation into a police chief constable accused of bullying staff was "perverse, unreasonable and unfair", it has been claimed at his misconduct hearing.

Lawyers for Simon Byrne, who was suspended from Cheshire Constabulary last August, applied for the allegations of gross misconduct to be dismissed at the hearing at Warrington Town Hall on Monday.

Staff have accused Mr Byrne of "bullying" and "humiliating" them and he is alleged to have "exhibited volatile, unpredictable and offensive behaviour" between May 2014 and March 2017.

Gerry Boyle QC, representing Mr Byrne, said the former Metropolitan Police officer had never been informed he was under investigation for gross misconduct.

He said: "In this case Mr (David) Keane, the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, has presided over an investigation into the chief constable which has been littered with procedural errors and irregularities and which has been so unfair to the chief constable that not only would it be unconscionable to proceed with this hearing but doing so would bring the operation of police misconduct hearings across the country into disrepute and it would be grossly unfair."

He said Mr Byrne was never interviewed in relation to any allegation and the decision to refer him to the gross misconduct hearing was made based on witness statements and documents which had not been shared with him in advance.

He added: "Indeed in the current climate, when disclosures by police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been a matter of significant public concern, it's ironic in the extreme that Mr Keane presided over an investigation in which a decision was made to deliberately withhold from the chief constable every single exhibit in this case.

"The approach to this case by the commissioner has been perverse, unreasonable and unfair and it's for those reasons we submit on behalf of the chief constable that this hearing should be permitted to go no further."

Giving evidence to the hearing, Mr Keane said: "I've always wanted to do things in a very fair, very open and very considerate manner."

The court heard the PCC received a complaint from the Police Federation about Mr Byrne in October 2016.

Mr Keane said at the time he had been in post less than five months and had never dealt with a similar situation before.

He said: "I was quite taken aback by it, to be honest."

John Beggs QC, representing the police and crime commissioner's office, said the application to dismiss the allegations was resisted.

At the start of the hearing, he said: "Mr Byrne has denied all allegations, denied gross misconduct, denied misconduct, so there is no meeting of minds, so to speak, on the allegations."

The misconduct hearing is listed to last for nine days.

View On Police Oracle

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HazRat

To be fair if I was facing being kicked out of the job with a rap sheet that long I’d go in there with big kahunas and effectively accuse all those members of staff of lying and see where it goes.  Nothing to lose.

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Zulu 22

Mr Keane has not got on with Mr Byrne since day one. Byrne had no problems with the previous PCC. If you go by the article, "How can you be disciplined when no evidence is presented to you or given a chance to defend yourself in an interview"?

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cookyy2k

Seems like a case of a pcc trying to use the police misconduct system with very little idea of how it works.

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BlueBob
On 16 April 2018 at 19:32, HazRat said:

To be fair if I was facing being kicked out of the job with a rap sheet that long I’d go in there with big kahunas and effectively accuse all those members of staff of lying and see where it goes.  Nothing to lose.

IT reads less that he says the witnesses are lying  rather procedures were not in place , such as the opportunity to be interviewed.  Until he knows all the ale gators it's rather difficult to decide how to deal with them

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HazRat

I find it unusual that someone could be accused of that much misconduct and not be interviewed about any of it? That’s a fundamental aspect of the misconduct system. If true then he deserves to have the matter discontinued as it’s hardly been conducted in a fair manner.

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Fedster

Cheshire Chief Constable bullying hearing to continune

Simon Byrne
Image captionSimon Byrne was suspended in August but denies the allegations

A disciplinary panel has decided not to throw out a series of bullying allegations against a chief constable, despite "flaws" in the investigation.

Cheshire Constabulary's Simon Byrne is alleged to have "exhibited volatile, unpredictable and offensive behaviour".

His lawyers applied to have the gross misconduct claims dismissed following "procedural errors".

However, while the panel conceded there had been flaws in the investigation, they did not cause "serious prejudice".

Mr Byrne was suspended in August but denies the allegations, which date from between May 2014 and March 2017.

Gerry Boyle QC, representing the former Metropolitan Police officer, said he had never been informed he was under investigation and had not been interviewed.

The barrister said David Keane, Cheshire's police and crime commissioner, had presided over an investigation "littered with procedural errors and irregularities".

David Keane

However, giving evidence last week, Mr Keane said he did not understand why Mr Byrne had not been interviewed by the North Yorkshire Police officers he commissioned to look into the allegations.

He admitted that on some occasions "it seems absolute normal practice wasn't followed".

But he denied trying to encourage investigating officers to arrive at a more serious finding regarding the allegations.

Panel chairman Rachel Crasnow QC said the absence of interviews "clearly shows the potential for a breach of natural justice".

She also said the failure to inform Mr Byrne of all the allegations against him "may have been inadequate".

Ms Crasnow said the procedures followed by Mr Keane had "fallen short of the standard we expect" and the consequence was "a degree of unfairness to the chief constable and an affront to natural justice".

She added: "It does have the potential to discredit public confidence in the (police misconduct) regulations",

But Ms Crasnow said the panel found it "difficult to identify any serious prejudice that cannot be remedied".

Rejecting the application for the proceedings to be stayed, Ms Crasnow said "a fair hearing can still proceed".

The hearing has been adjourned until 2 July.

Mr Keane's office released statement describing the delay as "unfortunate" for witnesses, who had already been "waiting for a significant amount of time to give evidence".

The statement said Mr Byrne's legal team had indicated they intend to challenge the panel's decision via a judicial review, subject to securing funding.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-43881339

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Posh

Meanwhile he's enjoying a CCs salary. By the time this is finished it'll be well over a year of collecting pay cheques. 

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Reasonable Man
Meanwhile he's enjoying a CCs salary. By the time this is finished it'll be well over a year of collecting pay cheques. 

And if he was a PC he'd be enjoying collecting a PC's salary. What's your point?
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cookyy2k
18 hours ago, Fedster said:

Panel chairman Rachel Crasnow QC said the absence of interviews "clearly shows the potential for a breach of natural justice".

She also said the failure to inform Mr Byrne of all the allegations against him "may have been inadequate".

Ms Crasnow said the procedures followed by Mr Keane had "fallen short of the standard we expect" and the consequence was "a degree of unfairness to the chief constable and an affront to natural justice".

She added: "It does have the potential to discredit public confidence in the (police misconduct) regulations",

So what is happening to the PCC/the investigators? I guarantee if an officer prosecuted a suspect and these inadequacies were found in the officer's work that PSD would end up involved.

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Zulu 22

Had this been a case at Crown Court the Judge would have stopped the trial and instructed a "Not Guilty" verdict. The base line in any form of prosecution or tribunal is "Fairness" and that does not apply, Chief or not.

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Posh
14 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:


And if he was a PC he'd be enjoying collecting a PC's salary. What's your point?

That the sooner he's sacked the better. 

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Reasonable Man
That the sooner he's sacked the better. 

What makes you think he's going to be sacked? And why do you think he deserves to be?

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Fedster

PCC 'doesn't know what he's doing' and should step down, says predecessor

Ex-officer backs suspended chief constable.

DBB5FCCF-8360-4F6C-9274-21246CD4E871.jpeg

John Dwyer was PCC from 2012-2016

A former PCC is calling for the current holder of the post to resign over the chief constable’s misconduct hearing.

Earlier this week a hearing into allegations Cheshire chief Simon Byrne bullied staff was adjourned until July after his legal team called for a judicial review of the panel’s refusal to have the case thrown out.

CC Byrne has been suspended since August and is accused of “lack[ing] self-control and exhibit[ing] volatile, unpredictable and offensive behaviour,” among 74 allegations.

A misconduct hearing was opened on 16 April but lawyers for CC Byrne complained from the onset the investigation into him was "perverse, unreasonable and unfair".

John Dwyer, who was Conservative Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner until May 2016, said his Labour successor David Keane should step aside.

“I am calling for him to resign as he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” he told Police Oracle.

“He’s still a borough councillor and a parish councillor and he was involved in an election campaign for the Labour candidate for Warrington North MP while this inquiry was ongoing. So all this about not having time to look at the papers properly is rubbish.

“The public of Cheshire are paying for him to be police and crime commissioner. He needs to step back and let someone who will make it their life, as I did, take over.”

He added: “I have kept a low profile since that day [of losing the election] and kept quiet about the state of the office. I decided to attend the hearing and I was appalled by what I heard.

“It was a first class office run by first class people when I was in office and it was successful because I was supported by first class people.

“He’s got rid of all these people and as a result, as he himself has admitted, he did not have the staff to assist him with this inquiry.

“He had suspended, in my opinion, a first class chief constable.”

Mr Dwyer said his life had taken a “new direction” since May 2016 and he has been writing a book and working as a consultant but he was so “appalled” by what he heard during the hearing so far he may reconsider his decision not to stand as candidate next time.  

Mr Keane said: “It is regrettable that former senior police officer and police and crime commissioner, John Dwyer, has chosen to make comments at a time when this matter has not been resolved and the welfare of so many individuals involved in the case is paramount.

“Regulatory investigations, and hearings, involving senior police officers’ conduct are very complicated, but despite the chief constable’s legal team arguing very forcibly to not have the matter heard, the chair of the independent panel has indicated that there has been no significant prejudice against the chief constable to have a fair hearing.

"Consequently, it is in the public interest that these matters be heard and the hearing will recommence in July.”

 

 
 

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Zulu 22

I wonder if this is a personal issue. Tthe PCC had staff and offices at the Police Headquarters, David Keane arrived and in a short space of time moved the PCC's office to, I believe, to Warrington, having got rid of the established staff and employed Labour friendly associates. He has never got on with the Chief Constable and is just trying to strengthen his authority. Let us hope that Mr Byrne successfully defends this case and that Keane is not re elected at the next election. He has done nothing for the residents of Cheshire except, feather his own nest. 

I was never keen on John Dwyer but at least he did the job.

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