Police chief goes after 999 riddle

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the country's most senior police chiefs has retired days after officers from his force went to his home in response to a "999" call, it emerged yesterday.

Earlier this week Robert Turnbull, 51, the Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland, announced he was stepping down five years before his pounds 72,000- per-year contract was due to end.He was involved in conducting one of the country's largest police corruption inquiries.

Mr Turnbull's surprise decision to retire was announced soon after an incident on 20 January when Cleveland police officers visited his home in response to an emergency call.

The call is believed to have been made by Mr Turnbull's wife, Margaret, from the couple's home on the Wynyard estate near Stockton, Teesside. It is understood the person who rang "999" replaced the telephone receiver before identifying themselves, but police were able to trace the call.

Cleveland police confirmed yesterday that "police attended a house in Wynyard park, Billingham, on January 20". Officers spoke to one person at the house. No one was charged and no complaints were lodged.

Mr Turnbull, who has been a police officer for more than 32 years, was entitled to retire, although he has asked to leave inMarch rather than work out the usual three months' notice.

A special meeting of the Cleveland Police Authority has been called to discuss the case.

Mr Turnbull said in a statement that he had taken the decision after discussions with his wife and two adult children.