England

Wiltshire chief constable Patrick Geenty faces IPCC probe

Patrick Geenty, Chief Constable for Wiltshire Police (r) and PCC Angus Macpherson
Image caption Patrick Geenty (right) was appointed chief constable in January 2013 by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson (left)

The chief constable of Wiltshire Police is being investigated over the way he handled complaints relating to allegations of sexual abuse.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was investigating Patrick Geenty, as well as an inspector and detective constable from the force.

It is alleged they withheld information from complainants about the extent of the force's failings in dealing with the sexual abuse claims.

It relates to an inquiry in 2008-09.

Mr Geenty, who was assistant chief constable at that time, said he was "shocked by the allegation that I attempted to mislead a complainant".

He said: "I welcome an open and transparent investigation and the public deserve no less.

'Honesty and integrity'

"The IPCC is there to investigate complaints independently and hold chief constables to account. I expect my actions to be reviewed and scrutinised.

"It is vital that we listen to complaints and learn from them."

The matter was referred to to the IPCC on 29 August after complaints were received.


Chiefs in the spotlight

The IPCC is now independently investigating three chief constables:

  • Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Police
  • Nick Gargan, Avon and Somerset Police
  • Patrick Geenty, Wiltshire Police

The IPCC also is managing investigations into two other chief constables:

  • Suzette Davenport, Gloucestershire
  • Adrian Lee, Northamptonshire

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said he made the referral after considering a letter of complaint received by his office on 14 August.

"This letter was with regard to the way in which a previous complaint had been dealt with by the force between 2008-10. That complaint was in relation to the way a case of historic sexual abuse had been managed.

"Following an initial meeting with IPCC investigators, my office is now in consultation with the IPCC on the matter.

"Deputy Chief Constable Mike Veale has made referrals to the IPCC in relation to the conduct of two other officers who were also involved in the handling of the 2008 complaint."

IPCC deputy chairwoman Sarah Green said: "It is vital that the public are confident that police forces will take their complaints seriously and act with honesty and integrity.

"Our investigation will seek to establish whether information was knowingly withheld and whether these complainants were knowingly and dishonestly misled."

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