Humberside Police Authority has issued a statement explaining that it will not suspend Chief Constable David Westwood, criticised over the Soham case, before the outcome of legal proceedings.
Here is the full text of the statement:
Yesterday, 1 July 2004, Humberside
Police Authority filed an Acknowledgement of Service to the Judicial Review proceedings issued by the home secretary.
"These grounds raise a legal issue, namely the interpretation of Section 42
(1A) of the Police Act 1996 as amended.
"In view of these proceedings, we have been advised by Queen's Counsel that
it will not be appropriate for the Police Authority to further consider the requirement to suspend the chief constable until the legal proceedings have been determined.
"The Authority has therefore agreed by a majority of 15 votes to two to adjourn the issue of a suspension of the chief constable pending the outcome of
the legal proceedings.
"The matters are now sub judice and we will await the decision of the court.
We have concluded... it is not necessary for us to call upon the chief constable in the interests of efficiency or effectiveness to retire or resign
"At today's meeting we have also considered the question of the efficiency and effectiveness of Humberside Police, in the light of Sir Michael Bichard's
recent report. We have been asked specifically by the home secretary to do this and it is right that we do so.
"We have also considered in great detail the issues concerning Humberside Police and how the force has responded to those issues. In addition, as we are
required to do by our statutory duty, we have considered a range of other matters relevant to our duty. These include detailed assessments on force performance provided to us by HMIC and the Home Office Police Standards Unit.
"We have also brought to this process our own knowledge and experiences of Humberside Police, with whom we are proactively engaged in our monitoring and scrutiny role.
"We have considered our powers under Section 11 of the Police Act 1996 as amended and we have concluded by a majority of 14 votes to three that it is not necessary for us to call upon the chief constable in the interests of efficiency or effectiveness to retire or resign. Quite the contrary.
"We are satisfied that the best way in which the police authority will continue to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force for Humberside is through having David Westwood as its chief constable.
"We will now be advising the Home Secretary of our deliberations, as he has asked us to do by 6 July 2004.