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No further investigation into Sir Norman Bettison

No further action will be taken in an investigation into the alleged theft of platinum by Sir Norman Bettison, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

Sir Norman Bettison Credit: Press Association

An investigation was undertaken by Derbyshire Police in 2013, at the request of South Yorkshire Police (SYP), into the alleged theft and handling of platinum by Sir Norman Bettison in 1987.

The CPS has now confirmed South Yorkshire Police's recommendation that no further action be taken.

The CPS says it has has completed a fresh review of the evidence and decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.

An essential legal element of the alleged offences is that the prosecution must be able to prove that the goods in question were in fact stolen.

There was insufficient evidence to establish this and as such a prosecution for theft or handling stolen goods is not possible.

Bettison: West Yorkshire Police statement

"The allegations made against two other Police Forces and the material we have found in connection with the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry raise significant issues of not just public confidence and trust, but also public interest.

"In the interests of openness and transparency I have today referred this matter to the IPCC so that an independent body can assess these matters so that the public can have full confidence in any outcome. West Yorkshire Police will co-operate fully with the IPCC and assist in any way we can to get to the truth".

– Mark Gilmore, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police


Bettison: Crime commissioner's statement

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has released the following statement about Sir Norman Bettison.

"I have become aware of three documents following a thorough search requested by West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore. These documents raise significant concerns over the role of Sir Norman Bettison at the time he was Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police in 1998 in commissioning a report to be prepared in the respect of a key witness appearing before the Macpherson Inquiry.

"This may suggest an attempt to intervene in the course of a public inquiry and influence the manner in which the testimony of a witness, who was due to present evidence before it, was received. I have today referred this to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

"This is a matter which needs to be thoroughly investigated, and if wrongdoing is demonstrated those responsible must face the consequences of their actions.

"Doreen Lawrence and her family need their treatment by the police service reviewed independently and this must be done as a matter of urgency.

"I am sure the IPCC will do the same for these separate issues of concern indicating possible corrupt practices around the Macpherson Inquiry. I am now seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary.

"Wider issues of any institutional racism in the police service may need to be tackled with a standalone inquiry but my referral today is to make sure we understand the truth regarding the conduct of Sir Norman Bettison. I welcome the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire rightly and swiftly recognising the seriousness of this issue and dealing with it in an open and transparent way. "

– Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire

Bettison: Crime Commissioner raises concerns

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson says West Yorkshire Police have found documents which raise concerns into Sir Norman's role at the time he was Assistant Chief Constable of the force in 1998.

A report was commissioned into the background of a key witness due to appear before the inquiry when it sat in Bradford.

It comes after recent allegations that police officers tried to smear the family of race murder victim Stephen Lawrence prompting the Home Office ask police forces to review their involvement with the enquiry. Sir Norman's solicitor told ITV that he would not be commenting on the referral.

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Campaigner: Bettison should be 'stripped of his honours'

The chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group has reacted to the IPCC's finding that former West Yorkshire police chief Sir Norman Bettison "has a case to answer" for his actions in the wake of the Hillsborough report.

Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son, James, in the disaster, said it was "another step on the road to justice" for the 96 victims.

"In the IPCC's own words, this was gross misconduct and, in my mind, that is a very serious offence and the fact that he resigned should not mean that this report is the end of it"

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Credit: Press Association

"We want to see him stripped of his honours - his knighthood and his Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

"I believe he resigned to protect his pension and his behaviour has shown he is not deserving of that pension."


Bettison's Police Authority meet

Sir Norman Bettison Credit: Press Association

The West Yorkshire Police Authority meets in full for the first time today since Sir Norman Bettison announced he was resigning as Chief Constable.

He had previously said he would retire in 2013, but following speculation about his involvement in the Hillsborough tragedy he said he would step down.

he South Yorkshire Police Authority are also meeting for the final time before a new Police and Crime Commissioner is appointed.

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