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Greater Manchester force under watchdog investigation

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, along with three serving officers, are being investigated by the police watchdog the IPCC.

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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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