Well finally the chief whip has had his last ‘crack’ and has resigned. Â About time too. Â It’s taken weeks for him, and the government were supportive to the Police about as much as a wet lettuce leaf, however, Plebgate is now over and he’s gone. Â Bye Mr Mitchell.
Now the resignation of under-fire West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison has been welcomed by relatives of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster.
Earlier this week, the pressure on the long-serving officer intensified with claims that he bragged about being asked to “concoct” an account of what happened when he was investigating the 1989 disaster as a South Yorkshire Police chief inspector.Sir Norman has always denied any involvement in a cover-up or any wrong-doing. He said he resigned because the controversy had become a “distraction to policing in West Yorkshire”.Â This should be dealt with expeditiously and there is call for his pension to be frozen until this is properly investigated. Â We are all in the public eye and I think that all Police Officers are held accountable and that includes Chiefs. Â Regardless of the outcome, the fact that he has brought the Police Service in a negative light and in toÂ disrepute it is only right that he should go so that the good work that the Officers do can be recognised and not have this cloud hanging over every officer, as what he has done has now given the idea that all officers must be the same.
Then this week the sad news of a senior Leicestershire police officer who had recently been suspended from the force has been struck and killed by a train.Â Police said Assistant Chief Constable Gordon Fraser died on Friday. His death is not being treated as suspicious.Mr Fraser, 49, and his wife Teresa appeared in court in July charged with perverting the course of justice over a speeding incident in Scotland.Â Mr Fraser and his wife were due to appear in court on Monday. Â He was suspended since the end of 2010 and this incident took place the end of last year. Â I do send my thoughts to his family and would not wish this on anyone. Â The pressure on Senior officers who have committed offences are immense, and so they should be, the impact and realisation of having a career in the Police and then possibility of going to prison is incomprehensible and frightening, this should be enough for any officer to even contemplate doing anything unlawful.
Senior Officers are just as accountable as those ‘on the ground’ and in some ways, holding the position that they do, they should be more accountable.Â How can someone discipline officers if they are dishonest themselves, or have covered upÂ misdemeanour’sÂ themselves. Â We get bad press every day and when an officer commits an offence it makes headline news, and the more senior the officer, the more accountable they should be. Â If someone is put in a position of responsibility, especially at ACPO rank, then they should be held more accountable, and should leave, as it does then reflect on the force that they represent.
There are always those in all walks of life that commit offences, however, as a Police Officer, if you do, then you are not only letting yourself and your family, but you are letting those who work so hard to keep a good reputation and work hard to change peoples perceptions of the police.