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How to sack a police chief

Chief Constable Graham Maxwell today faced the first day of his QC led disciplinary panel. Not only is it a make or break day for Mr Maxwell, but it is also a big day for British policing.

CC Graham Maxwell
Since the 1960's we have struggled with police corruption, and it wasn't until PACE that many of those opportunities for abuse of position, abuse of procedure, and mistreatment of detainees were removed. PACE was a massive step forward. But still some opportunities exist, and they will always exist if we want to give police officers the discretion and freedom to do their jobs. We must trust our professional standards departments, directed by the Chief Constable, to seek out and deal with misconduct and corruption, and Graham Maxwell has let the public, and his colleagues down by abusing his position.

Article about Chief Constable Stanley Parr,
see below for larger version
He has today admitted disreputable conduct...so at least he had the courage and honesty today to admit his mistakes. It is likely he will get sacked, and this will be the first time since 1977 that such an action has been taken. Lets look at the guy that was last sacked.

Chief Constable Stanley Parr was a very well respected officer and worked his way through the ranks to be Chief of Lancashire Police. His career ended with him being found guilty of 26 counts of misconduct and he was dismissed. In my investigation i have come across two versions of events.

The first, as reported in Private Eye at the time, it was alleged that Chief Constable Stanley Parr reduced two counts of death by dangerous driving as a favour to an acquaintance, Bill Harrison. The daughter of Harrison mounted the pavement, killing two young mothers. A horrific crime, and Parr's interference with the charges was a devastating blow against justice. This is, perhaps, an example of the argument against the recent reports that forces will be given charging discretion over 80% of cases.

The second, comes from Parr himself. He seems to believe that the reason for his dismissal was purely misuse of his official police vehicle. You can hear his response to the allegations, and the tribunals decision, in the below mp3. Its fascinating to hear, even though it is a fairly brief clip.


Interview with CC Stanley Parr 
sometime after the 
tribunal found 
against him

I have no doubt that every officer across the country has a sense of anger and disapointment that one of our most senior leaders has behaved in this manner. Despite that feeling of anger and disapointment, i am proud that no rank is high enough to hide behind. I hope he is sacked, and that his force can continue under a new leader and recover from this episode. Let it be a example to the police chiefs, you will be held to account.

Here is the larger text version of the above newspaper article on Stanley Parr;