Nasty smell lingers at Police HQ…

North Yorkshire Police
N.Yorks Police

Despite Grahame Maxwell’s desire to put the “traumatic period” in his life behind him, and his intention to “move on and do the job” he loves, the smell of the incident of last year is still lingering in the carpets at North Yorkshire Police HQ. Somewhat surprising perhaps, given the amount of effort that has been put into sweeping the matter under them!

After the IPCC investigated the nepotism case against the Chief Constable, they concluded he should be charged with gross misconduct. Mr Maxwell subsequently (but belatedly) admitted the charge in May this year.  This was apparently after brokering a deal with the NYPA to exclude the term ‘acting without honesty and integrity’.

Gross Misconduct: Conduct on the part of an employee which is so bad that it destroys the employer/employee relationship, and merits instant dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice… (

At the onset of the investigation, the Police Authority were quick to distance themselves from Mr Maxwell however, now the matter has (supposedly) been ‘robustly’ handled, they are now back with their ‘full support’ for his tenure. Perhaps if the recent NYCC attempt at a no confidence vote had been aimed at the manner in which NYPA handled the incident, as opposed the Chief’s methodology and performance, then the ongoing angst around the whole sorry mess may have been different?

The Chief may have won the confidence vote however; it’s my belief the debacle won’t die, at least not until Mr Maxwell steps down or his contract as Chief Constable is rescinded. As recently as today (23-11-2011) the matter hits the press again…

Exclusive: Assistant’s evidence contradicts Yorkshire police chief’s misconduct claims: THE personal assistant of North Yorkshire chief constable Grahame Maxwell provided evidence to his gross misconduct investigation directly contradicting the version of events presented by her boss, it can be revealed today…(

I feel confident that additional snippets will continue to surface, by they fact or opinion, for some time yet. The problem being that the surface dressing, of what in real terms was little more than a feeble attempt at damage limitation (all be it a very expensive one), has done little to placate the public. It has also furthered the mistrust and disgust widely held amongst Maxwell’s staff.

The IPCC report, which formed the basis of the case, indicates the chief constable initially chose not to reveal what he had done and only disclosed his actions when he thought they would be discovered…the IPCC report also found some of Mr Maxwell’s explanation of the events “extremely doubtful”… (

I feel shure that if a similar set of circumstances had befallen an officer of lower rank the outcome(s) would have been vastly different. Despite any credibility for honesty and integrity being totally shot to pieces ipso facto, it is also highly unlikely any would still be employed after a founded charge of gross misconduct.

At a time when so much change is occurring with the police reform process, and officers of all ranks are being battered from every quarter, the service doesn’t need additional problems. Especially not ones which undermine their credibility and deepen the already low public contempt for the service.

2 thoughts on “Nasty smell lingers at Police HQ…

  1. It’s pretty obvious just how used to getting away with lying our top dogs have got Dave, It’s a consequence of the leadership teaching going on and the weakening of any participatory structures. I couldn’t find a single officer with integrity in my problems with GMP until a beat cop from the next beat turned up by accident. The lying is now endemic and rooted in a back-fire culture where any alternative view is demonised before evidence is reviewed.


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