West Yorkshire Police chief constable Sir Norman Bettison to retire

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THE chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, has announced he will retire next year.

Sir Norman is currently being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for his role in the Hillsborough disaster.

He attended the game as an off duty police inspector with South Yorkshire Police and was involved in an internal inquiry into the 1989 tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool FC fans.

He will step down from his role as chief constable in March after six years of service.

Sir Norman said: “My term of appointment with West Yorkshire Police was due to end in January of this year, but was extended with the approval of the Police Authority and the Home Secretary.

“However recent weeks have caused me to reflect on what is best for the future of policing in West Yorkshire and I have now decided to set a firm date for my retirement of March 31, 2013.

“I have offered this proposal to my Police Authority.

He added: “Furthermore, I hope it will enable the Independent Police Complaints Commission to fully investigate allegations that have been raised about my integrity. They need to be fairly and fully investigated and I welcome this independent and formal scrutiny.

“The record of my leadership of West Yorkshire Police will speak for itself. Crime is down and public confidence is up.

“I remain very proud to serve the people of West Yorkshire and work alongside the committed and professional police officers and staff of West Yorkshire Police. It remains my intention to maintain and improve the performance of the force, whilst ensuring a smooth transition to a new chief constable.”

The tragedy during the game between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest was the worst sporting disaster in British history.

Sir Norman was referred to the IPCC after complaints from the public following the release of previously unseen government papers about the disaster by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

It’s report stated that 164 witness statements had been amended by police and 116 statements unfavourable to South Yorkshire Police had been removed.

Sir Norman has always denied any wrong doing.