Sheffield & South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police chief David Crompton takes legal action over resignation

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chief Constable David Crompton was suspended on 27 April

The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police has launched legal proceedings over the decision to ask him to resign.

David Crompton was suspended by Dr Alan Billings, the region's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), after the Hillsborough inquest verdicts in April.

Dr Billings said he had no choice but to act as there had been an "erosion of trust".

Lawyers for Mr Crompton claim the resignation call was disproportionate and unlawful.

Responding to the announcement, Dr Billings said: "I am disappointed that Mr Crompton has issued judicial review proceedings. I will now have to seek legal advice.

"I called for Mr Crompton's resignation on 29 September at the end of the Section 38 process. This followed careful consideration of all the views and correspondence I received, including the Police and Crime Panel's unanimous recommendation that I should call for the Chief Constable to resign or retire.

"Mr Crompton tendered his resignation the same day."

'Gravity of the situation'

Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor said Dr Billings' decision was based on three "misunderstood" words in a press release, and the mistake would be corrected in the High Court.

Mr Crompton was suspended after an inquest jury concluded police conduct contributed to or caused the deaths of 96 football falls at Hillsborough in 1989.

The families of those who died complained to the coroner and claimed a line of questioning by South Yorkshire Police was designed to try and blame the fans for the disaster.

After the inquests, Mr Crompton appeared to justify the questioning of the fans' conduct.

Summarising his reasons for asking the chief constable to immediately resign, Dr Billings said the statement showed Mr Crompton did not "grasp the gravity of the situation".

Mr Crompton had already said he would retire in November.

Dr Billings has appointed Stephen Watson as his successor. Mr Watson is currently running the force on a temporary basis.

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