West Yorkshire's top cop to reitre

Sir Norman Bettison
West Yorkshire chief constable Sir Norman Bettison outside a police authority meeting in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Photo: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison is to retire in March after growing pressure for him to quit the force.

Sir Norman is currently under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission for his role in the Hillsborough tragedy. He is the most senior officer who was there on the day who is still serving now.

Tonight, he has released the following statement through West Yorkshire Police:

I have had the privilege to serve the people of West Yorkshire as their Chief Constable since 2007.

My term of appointment with West Yorkshire Police was due to end in January of this year, but was extended with the approval of the Police Authority and Home Secretary.

However recent weeks have caused me to reflect on what is best for the future of policing in West Yorkshire and I have now decided to set a firm date for my retirement of 31 March 2013. I have offered this proposal to my Police Authority.

Whilst representing a personal decision, this will enable an incoming Police and Crime Commissioner, who will take up office on the 22nd of November, to begin the search immediately for a new Chief Constable who can take the Force forwards.

Furthermore, I hope it will enable the Independent Police Complaints Commission to fully investigate allegations that have been raised about my integrity. They need to be fairly and fully investigated and I welcome this independent and formal scrutiny.

The record of my leadership of West Yorkshire Police will speak for itself. Crime is down and public confidence is up.

I remain very proud to serve the people of West Yorkshire and work alongside the committed and professional police officers and staff of West Yorkshire Police. It remains my intention to maintain and improve the performance of the Force, whilst ensuring a smooth transition to a new Chief Constable.

– Sir Norman Bettison, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police