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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Chief constable's statement
Paul Whitehouse
Mr Whitehouse's priority is to protect force's name
This is the full text of Sussex Police Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse's resignation letter.

It is with some sadness that I have decided to give Sussex Police Authority notice of my intention to retire.

I have been a police officer for 33 years and like all police officers it has always been much more than a job.

I have never for one moment regretted my decision to join the police service, which is full of men and women who, day in and day out, show levels of integrity, courage and professionalism far beyond that which is required of them."

Outside investigation

The last three years of my service have been the most difficult I have ever experienced.

I have always said that I regret the death of James Ashley and I share with his family the desire to know the true facts about the circumstances surrounding it.

That is why I immediately asked another force to conduct an investigation.


"My integrity is my most important possession and to hear it called in to question both hurts and angers me"

Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse

Unfortunately it would seem from leaks of confidential reports made in the course of the investigations the whole truth has not been reported.

This has not helped the Ashley family and it has not helped the police service.

In addition those officers who were involved in the operation have been unjustly vilified. I do not understand the motive for it and I am saddened by it.

Judgement questioned

I hope that the officers involved will get the opportunity to put their side of events and they will continue to have my full support.

My thoughts are particularly with my deputy, Mark Jordan, who remains suspended after more than three years.

I am happy for my judgment to be questioned but I have never knowingly misled anyone, withheld information from anyone or behaved dishonestly."


I shall now carefully consider what action to take in respect of the scurrilous accusations that have been made against me

Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse

My integrity is my most important possession and to hear it called in to question both hurts and angers me.

I have considered carefully whether I should fight the allegations that have been made about me while I still hold the office of Chief Constable.

My priority now is to protect the good name of Sussex Police. Speaking for myself, I shall now carefully consider what action to take in respect of the scurrilous accusations that have been made against me.

Professional satisfaction

The events of the last three years must not be allowed to overshadow the achievements of Sussex Police during my time as Chief Constable.

As well as establishing the force that acts with integrity and tolerance, I take considerable professional satisfaction from the House of Lords ruling in the case of the Shoreham live animal exports.

This was a landmark decision that upheld the right of Chief Constables to establish their priorities.

Safety first

I am proud to have led Sussex Police. I believe it is one of the finest forces in the country where honesty, professionalism, bravery, determination and caring are not just words.

They are the values that all our staff live and breathe every working day. I have been privileged to work with people who, like me, have always put the safety of the people of Sussex first.

I thank them and all those outside the force who have supported me throughout my time here.

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26 Jun 01 | UK
Chief constable quits
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