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Police 'must maintain professional standards' online

Police workers in the region have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines. New figures over a 5 year period show Greater Manchester Police reported the most investigations.

In Lancashire one constable resigned over "excessive and inappropriate use of the internet" at work. One Facebook post showed a staff member asleep on duty. Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says it's important staff maintain professional standards online.

Fahy probe - "right and transparent"

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester. Credit: PA

The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers has welcomed the investigation into Greater Manchester's Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy.

Sir Hugh Orde said it was right that in a "transparent and open" system complaints are properly looked into.

Yesterday, Sir Peter faced calls to stand down amid a criminal probe in relation to his role in an investigation into a suspected sex offender.

He is one of three serving officers to be served with both a criminal and gross misconduct notice following investigations by watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

But Sir Hugh said it was important not to prejudge the outcome of the cases.

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers. Credit: PA

"The first point to make of course is that in a system that is transparent and open, it is right that any officer regardless of rank, if a complaint is made, is subject to a full and proper investigation.

"In terms of suspension that is of course a matter for the police and crime commissioner and individual commissioners will make individual judgments on the basis of the merits of the case as they understand it to be.

"What is different frankly (now) is that we are fully informed because the IPCC choose to make it public very early.

"We need to wait and see what the outcomes of these cases are. It would be entirely wrong to pre-judge them on what we currently know."

– Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers

Asked whether these cases were more serious given the criminal element, he replied: "Until we know the detail, I think it would be wrong to make a judgment.

"Chief officers make highly complex, risk-based, operational decisions in the interests of the public.

"To suspend an officer is a massive decision and it can be without question career threatening. It is not a neutral act."

Asked if he believed the cases were damaging to public confidence in the police, he said: "No, I think it is the opposite.

"The fact we are willing and we welcome any investigation regardless of the allegation, regardless of the motives...every officer from constable to chief constable should be subject to a thorough investigation when a citizen makes a complaint. I think that is a positive."

The inquiry is believed to be linked to allegations that GMP allowed a teenager to enter the home of a suspected paedophile who was under surveillance.

It has been claimed that officers did not stop the boy from walking into his apartment, which they were watching.

Another serving officer has been handed a gross misconduct notice following the investigations - prompted by allegations made by a whistleblower - for his oversight in the disposal of body parts belonging to victims of serial killer Harold Shipman.

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PCC: nothing to make me consider chief constable position

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Manchester has said he is not considering suspending Chief Constable Peter Fahy, after the IPCC launched an investigation into him, and other serving officers.

Tony Lloyd said: "It is my role to consider what action, if any, should be taken with regard to the Chief Constable during the course of the investigation. I have taken independent legal advice from a senior QC with expertise in the area. Nothing has been placed before me at this time which would make me consider the position of the Chief Constable."

Peter Fahy: right that I am held to account

Chief Constable Peter Fahy Credit: PA Images

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy says it's "right decision-making is scrutinised" after being served with a criminal and gross misconduct notice by the police watchdog, the IPCC.

Sir Peter Fahy said: "As a chief constable you face making complex decisions on a daily basis about many high risk and challenging situations. It is right that this decision-making is scrutinised and that I am held to account as part of this investigation."

The IPCC said the charges were "in relation to his alleged support to an allegedly poorly-handled investigation into a suspected sex offender."

Officer given criminal notice over Shipman investigation

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, along with three serving officers, are being investigated by the police watchdog the IPCC. The officers have been served with criminal and gross misconduct charges.

Part of the investigation relates to the serial killer Harold Shipman.

Greater Manchester Police are under investigation by the police watchdog Credit: ITV Granada

A statement by the IPCC said: "The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and three other serving officers at the force have been issued with notices advising them that they are under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)."

The statement said the investigations had been prompted by a whistleblower in the force.

Part of the investigation relates to Harold Shipman Credit: PA Images

In relation into the investigation into Shipman, the watchdog said: "Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney has been served with a gross misconduct notice for his oversight role in the disposal of body parts belonging to victims of the serial killer Harold Shipman."

The statement said other officers, and the Chief Constable, were being investigated: "The notices informed the officers that their conduct or actions may have breached their standards of professional behaviour.

"Three of the four have been told that they are also under criminal investigation.

"GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy has been served with a criminal and gross misconduct notice in relation to his alleged support to an allegedly poorly-handled investigation into a suspected sex offender.

A Detective Superintendent and a Detective Chief Inspector were served with criminal and gross misconduct notices for their roles in the investigation. A retired officer will also be served with a criminal and gross misconduct notice over his role in the investigation."

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Man wanted by police

Police are appealing for the public’s help to trace a man wanted on recall to prison. 23 year old Shaun Stockton was released from prison on licence on 25 April 2014 after he was jailed for possession of a weapon and public order offences in the Atherton area of Leigh. Since his release he has breached the terms of his licence.

Shaun Stockton Credit: GMP

Police Watchdog wants better training at GMP after man's death

The IPCC has recommended that Greater Manchester Police improve training for custody sergeants and other officers after a man died after spending 33 hours in custody. 19 year old Billy Salton suffered epileptic fits at Cheadle Heath Custody Suite and later at Stockport Magistrates Court. He died later in hospital. An inquest recorded that Mr Salton died of natural causes after suffering a heart attack brought on by a third epileptic fit he suffered after transfer to Stockport Magistrates' Court.

"The care afforded to Mr Salton during his lengthy detention at Cheadle Heath custody suite should have been of a higher standard.

"Although it cannot be said that this contributed to Mr Salton’s death there are a number of issues from this tragic case and other IPCC investigations of the same unit that need to be addressed by Greater Manchester Police to ensure that a better standard of care is given to others in a similar situation.

"Mr Salton’s family has been made aware of our findings and I offer my sincere condolences to them for their loss.”

– IPCC Commissioner for Greater Manchester James Dipple-Johnstone

Police watchdog recommends changes at Greater Manchester Police

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has found poor performance by staff and made a number of recommendations to Greater Manchester Police following the death of a man in custody. 19 year old Billy Salton suffered epileptic seizures while being held in custody at Cheadle Heath custody suite, where he was held for a total of 33 hours. He had a third fit in a cell at Stockport Magistrates’ Court after being transferred there for a court hearing and died three days later in Stepping Hill Hospital on 9 July 2012.

The IPCC investigation found that mistakes were made and poor operating practices observed, but also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to suggest any individual officer or member of GMP staff breached their standards of professional behaviour.

The IPCC found evidence of poor risk assessment, custody record entry, visiting regime, communication with clinicians and use of CCTV. The IPCC has recommended that GMP consider addressing these as a training issue for Sergeants and custody detention officers. The force should also consider where CCTV monitors are placed to ensure that they can be easily be viewed by staff. A number of similar issues and recommendations had been previously identified following other IPCC investigations into the Cheadle Heath custody unit.

Police watchdog recommends changes at GMP after epileptic man dies Credit: PA
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