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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 22:02 GMT
'Robocop' is asked to resign
Ray Mallon arrives for his hearing at Cleveland Police headquarters
Mr Mallon hopes to stand for mayor of Middlesbrough
Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon, who pioneered zero tolerance law enforcement, has been "required to resign" from Cleveland Police.

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) said Mr Mallon - dubbed "Robocop" - was asked to quit his force on Monday after admitting 14 disciplinary charges.

The former head of Middlesbrough CID entered guilty pleas last week to the discipline charges he faced under the long-running Operation Lancet.

Mr Mallon insisted his sudden decision to plead guilty after four years of protesting his innocence, was spurred by his desire to stand for political office.

He found himself in a David and Goliath struggle with the force

Chief Superintendent Philip Aspey

He said that he was faced with a Catch 22 decision of whether or not to fight for the good of his reputation or to fight to be mayor of Middlesbrough.

Mr Mallon said: "I pleaded not guilty to the charges because I hadn't committed them as far as I am concerned.

"However, as time went on, my legal representation was running out as far as money is concerned - and to put it into context - I ended up turning up to a hearing a week ago and was told the proceedings would have to be adjourned until 15 July.

"Clearly if I had gone along with that I could not have stood as the elected mayor. My name would not have been on the ballot paper.

"Therefore instantaneously I was given a simple choice, do I want to stand as the elected mayor, or do I want to fight these proceedings?

Admit defeat

"I pleaded guilty to end this for the good of everybody and so that my name could be on that ballot paper."

Mr Mallon first tried to resign from the force in August last year but the Chief Constable Barry Shaw refused to accept his resignation.

Chief Superintendent Philip Aspey, deputy secretary of the Superintendents' Association said: "Superintendent Mallon has been made a scapegoat by the force.

"He found himself in a David and Goliath struggle with the force.

"It seems to us that Cleveland police tried to wear Ray down at every opportunity, always finding money to throw at the case in the hope that he would have to give in and admit defeat."

It has brought four years of very severe difficulty on Teesside to an end

Stuart Bell, Middlesbrough MP

Ken Walker, chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, said Mr Mallon was required to resign on 11 of the 14 disciplinary charges the detective had admitted.

The ruling by Hertfordshire Chief Constable Paul Acres meant Mr Mallon had been "effectively dismissed".

Mr Walker said: "Now it is over I feel that it is right that questions are asked about why the Cleveland Force, the authority - and the entire community we serve - have had to go through so much trauma which could largely have been avoided if Mr Mallon had chosen to make the admissions he has now made right at the beginning."

Mr Mallon admitted that before he was suspended from Cleveland Police in 1997, he failed to act on allegations that some of his officers were guilty of "serious misconduct".

In a statement PCA deputy chairman, Ian Bynoe, said Mr Mallon's conduct could not be passed off as "the odd error of judgment".

'Effective' inquiry

He said: "The public are entitled to expect that when allegations are made [against a] police officer... this will result in prompt, searching and effective inquiry.

"The superintendent failed to deal properly and professionally with these reports.

"Had these matters been dealt with promptly by him Operation Lancet would not have necessitated such a large-scale inquiry.

"The course of conduct for which he has been punished cannot be dismissed as the odd error of judgment or excusable mistake under pressure.

Stuart Bell
Stuart Bell said Mr Mallon's plans to run for mayor are "absurd"

The PCA said it planned to publish the findings of Operation Lancet but not before disciplinary hearings against some of Mr Mallon's fellow officers were completed.

Stuart Bell, MP for Middlesbrough, said: "It has brought four years of very severe difficulty on Teesside to an end.

"It has been a great sadness that this has gone on for four years when in fact at the end of the day he pleaded guilty to all 14 charges.

"I would advise him not to stand for mayor, I would advise him to get on with his life.

"I would advise him not to enter the political cauldron and all the pain that that will give him."

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See also:

11 Feb 02 | England
Mallon: the man in profile
07 Feb 02 | England
'Robocop' awaits verdict
07 Feb 02 | England
'Robocop' admits charges
06 Feb 02 | England
'Robocop' ends bid to clear name
21 Nov 01 | England
'Robocop' hearing put on hold
22 Oct 01 | England
Fair hearing plea for 'Robocop'
09 Oct 01 | England
'Robocop' fights policing charges
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