Wiltshire Police lacks leadership, claim officers and staff

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)

Wiltshire's chief constable and crime commissioner have been criticised by officers and staff who claim there is a lack of leadership in the force.

It has followed the decision by Chief Constable Pat Geenty not to retire until the result of an investigation by the police watchdog.

The IPCC is looking at how he and two officers dealt with sex abuse claims.

Crime commissioner Angus Macpherson said Mr Geenty should be given credit for staying on.

Mr Geenty said on 4 February he would stand down in May, but five days later said he would delay his retirement until the investigation into his conduct was concluded.

Wiltshire Police Federation claimed uncertainty over when Mr Geenty was leaving had led to confusion.

'Great integrity'

Federation chairman Insp Mike White said: "We are going into yet another round of massive cuts to policing. We are going into a strategic alliance with Avon and Somerset Police.

"The concerns my members have is if we don't have a strong and stable leadership going into that phase, then that could be detrimental both to them as police officers and to the police service that we can offer to Wiltshire.

"If I was Mr Geenty, I would stick by the announcement I originally made and I would retire in May."

Unison, which represents 600 civilian staff working for the force, said a staff survey had revealed a lack of confidence in senior management.

Nick Maslin, from the trade union, said: "The results show that there is a lack of confidence in the leadership in the force.

"We don't believe this staff survey was ever published within the force. It's been hidden away and we don't believe the results of the survey have ever been taken up and addressed."

Mr Geenty said in a statement it had always been his intention to see the investigation through and he was proud to have led the force.

Mr Macpherson said: "He said he wants to stay and see this through and defend his position, as indeed the officers that were named with him are doing. So he's showing great integrity in my view."

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