Police chief apologises for gross misconduct

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A YORKSHIRE chief constable who admitted gross misconduct after he helped a relative during a recruitment campaign has apologised but refused to resign.

Despite calls from Yorkshire MPs to step down, the head of North Yorkshire Police, Grahame Maxwell, 49, has vowed to carry on, insisting this week it is “business as usual”.

Apologising to residents, officers and staff on Wednesday, Mr Maxwell said: “The last thing in the world I would want to do is undermine the reputation of North Yorkshire Police.”

Mr Maxwell, the first chief constable in the UK to face gross misconduct charges in 34 years, was given a final written warning this week after the nepotism which also involved his former deputy Adam Briggs, who retired from the North Yorkshire force in February.

It emerged that Mr Maxwell had helped a relative to advance through the first stage of a process to recruit officers for the force, and had authorised Mr Briggs to do the same.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which investigated the affair, revealed that Mr Maxwell’s “unacceptable” initial defence against the allegations was “essentially saying he could do what he wanted because he was the chief constable”.

The strong criticism prompted a number of calls for Mr Maxwell’s resignation, but he tried to draw a line under the matter this week.

“Over the past 24 hours I have reflected on the outcome of the hearing into my actions,” he said.

“I want to reassure the public of North Yorkshire... that it is very much business as usual.”