North Yorkshire Police Authority is the local authority with accountability for the policing service. It operates in a similar way to a local authority or council and is independent of the Chief Constable. The Authority is made up of 17 members, comprising 8 Independents (members of the public), 2 City of York Councillors and 7 North Yorkshire County Councillors.
The Chief Constable has independence from the police authority for operational policing decisions, the Authority is responsible for ensuring that resources used in the delivery of the service are used efficiently and effectively and that the Chief Constable is accountable to the Authority for how he delivers policing. The Authority sets the strategic direction of the service and sets performance targets for the service to achieve after listening to local people about their views of the police.
NYPA Statement regarding Chief Constable Misconduct Hearing:
North Yorkshire Police Authority (NYPA) can confirm that Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell has admitted a charge of gross misconduct due to actions which amounted to a breach of Standards of Professional Behaviour which has brought discredit upon the police service.
An independent Misconduct Hearing Panel has, today, decided that Mr. Maxwell should receive a final written warning as a result of those actions. This will remain on his record for 18 months.
Mr. Maxwell’s admission that he committed acts which amounted to gross misconduct clearly vindicates the decisions of NYPA in
- Recognising the potential seriousness of Mr. Maxwell’s actions
- Referring the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for independent assessment and investigation, and
- Determining, upon receipt of the investigators report, that there was a case to answer for gross misconduct and convening a Misconduct Hearing to consider the facts of the matter.
It is important to recognise that two members of police staff have already been dismissed by North Yorkshire Police for actions taken during the same recruitment process. The fact that Mr. Maxwell has received a final written warning should not be taken to diminish the seriousness of his actions; rather it is a significant sanction demonstrating the gravity attached by the Panel to this gross misconduct. It is likely that Mr. Maxwell’s previously untarnished police service record had an impact on the Panel’s determination as did, to a lesser extent, his last minute decision to admit his guilt after a 15 month process. The charge to which he admitted guilt was of the Discreditable Conduct aspect of Gross Misconduct.
The Authority’s view is that appropriate standards of behaviour should be maintained at all times by all people employed in the Police Service. It is important that alleged breaches of those standards are pursued with equal rigour irrespective of a person’s position in the organisation. It is important to recognise that the vast majority of police officers and police staff consistently behave in a way in which the communities they serve can be proud. However, it is also important that where there is evidence that behaviours fall below the standard expected, then these are challenged and the individuals held to account.
It is perhaps regrettable that Mr. Maxwell did not admit his guilt late last year. He could have avoided organisational and personal turmoil and unnecessary cost to the council tax payer. Instead, Mr. Maxwell has sought, over the last 6 months, to avoid being held to account for his actions by pursuing spurious legal remedies and unsustainable arguments in his defence.
However, NYPA accepts and respects the Panel’s determination. The Authority now calls upon Mr. Maxwell to rebuild both the public’s confidence in the police service and his personal reputation amongst the community he serves and the organisation he leads.