Sir Norman Bettison backed by West Yorkshire Police Authority

Sir Norman Bettison Sir Norman was referred to the IPCC by a special committee of the police authority

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The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Sir Norman Bettison has received the backing of the West Yorkshire Police Authority.

Its chairman Mark Burns-Williamson said Sir Norman had the authority's "confidence to continue".

Sir Norman has been referred to the police watchdog, the IPCC, over his conduct after the Hillsborough tragedy.

He was an off-duty South Yorkshire Police inspector during the disaster and took part in an internal inquiry.

As the police authority met in Wakefield on Friday, Mr Burns-Williamson said: "Sir Norman has our confidence to continue on as chief constable and get on with the job and that is the situation as it stands today.

"I'm certain that we've followed due process with regard to referral to the IPCC and this week he has been getting on with the job of chief constable, making sure the policing of the county is there and continues.

"Today's scheduled meeting was the first opportunity for the police authority to meet together and with the chief constable since the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report was published last Wednesday."

'Business as usual'

He said the authority reviewed and supported the decision to refer the complaints about the chief constable to the IPCC.

It was agreed the authority would meet again next Tuesday, he added.

Sir Norman said it was "business as usual" as he arrived for the authority meeting.

He said he was "anxious" to help the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry, which he hoped would take place "the sooner, the better".

The West Yorkshire Police Authority meeting was planned before the referral, the authority said.

The IPCC said it had received the referral from a special committee of West Yorkshire Police Authority after complaints from members of the public about Sir Norman.

The complaints alleged he had been "involved in the production and supply of misleading information for the various inquiries that have been undertaken into the Hillsborough disaster".

The watchdog said a second element of the referral related to a statement he made last week, following the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Sir Norman said the Liverpool fans' behaviour had made policing during the tragedy "harder than it needed to be".

He later apologised for any upset caused by the statement, saying Liverpool fans were "in no way to blame" for the disaster.

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