Manchester

GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy in IPCC misconduct probe

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Peter Fahy was investigated following allegations made by a whistleblower

Greater Manchester's Chief Constable faces a criminal probe over an allegedly poorly-handled investigation into a suspected child sex offender.

Sir Peter Fahy was served with both a criminal and gross misconduct notice by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC looked at allegations made by a whistleblower serving with the force.

It has been claimed the force let a teenager enter the home of a suspected paedophile who was under surveillance.

The inquiry claims officers did not stop the boy from walking into his apartment, which they were watching.

Following the announcement, Sir Peter said: "As a chief constable you face making complex decisions on a daily basis about many high risk and challenging situations.

"It is right that this decision-making is scrutinised and that I am held to account as part of this investigation."

Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk said he wanted to see Sir Peter suspended as it was "only right and proper that he is until inquiries are completed".

But Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said Sir Peter would not be suspended.

He said after taking independent legal advice, "nothing has been placed before me at this time by the IPCC which would make me consider the position of the Chief Constable".

A detective superintendent and a detective chief inspector have been also served with criminal and gross misconduct notices over their roles in the case.

A retired officer will also be served with the same notice over his role.


Timeline

  • September 2008: Sir Peter Fahy is appointed Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.
  • 2012: An inquiry into an alleged sex offender is allegedly poorly handled by the force. The failings are then allegedly covered up.
  • January 2014: A serving officer approaches the IPCC with allegations about a number of officers, including Sir Peter.
  • March 2014: The IPCC launches Operation Poppy, an investigation into three allegations raised by the whistleblower. They concern claims that Sir Peter, a detective superintendent and a detective chief inspector mishandled the 2012 inquiry. There are also claims the force misled the families of Harold Shipman's victims regarding how tissue from their bodies was disposed of and questions over whether public safety was put at risk during an unauthorised bugging. The whistleblower also makes allegations of cronyism among senior officers.
  • August 2014: Sir Peter, a detective superintendent and a detective chief inspector are served with criminal and gross misconduct notices by the IPCC in relation to the investigation. A retired officer was also issued with the notices. Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney is served with a gross misconduct notice for his role in the Shipman case.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney is also being investigated over body parts in the case of serial killer Harold Shipman.

He was served with a gross misconduct notice for his role in the disposal of body parts belonging to victims of Shipman without the families' knowledge, the IPCC said.

Human tissue samples were kept in storage for a number of years to ensure that police had the appropriate evidence should the murderer or his family appeal against his conviction.

'Under criminal investigation'

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "The notices informed the officers that their conduct or actions may have breached their standards of professional behaviour.

"Three of the four have been told that they are also under criminal investigation."

The IPCC carried out three independent investigations into multiple allegations made by the whistleblower.

Investigators obtained Greater Manchester Police documents and interviewed the whistleblower.

A major incident room has been set up and relatives of the victims of Shipman are being "informed of progress", the IPCC said.

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