Calls for Sir Peter Fahy to be suspended during Greater Manchester Police misconduct probe

Sir Peter is facing criminal misconduct proceedings alongside other officers

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The Independent Online

An MP has called for the chief of Greater Manchester Police to be suspended immediately after an investigation was launched into the handling of a sexual abuse case.

Sir Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of GMP, could face criminal misconduct proceedings over allegations made by a whistleblower in the force.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced on Tuesday that he was under investigation alongside other serving officers and had been served a criminal and gross misconduct notice.

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, insisted that Sir Peter should be suspended, adding that he has raised concerns over force’s handling of sexual abuse “for some time”.

“With the Chief Constable now under investigation for what is a very serious matter, it is only right and proper that he's suspended until the inquiries are completed,” he added.

“I cannot stress how important it is for the public to have full confidence in the police and the statements we've heard today suggest that those at the top are not taking this investigation seriously.

“If any frontline officer were facing serious allegations like this they would be suspended immediately and it should not be different for the Chief Constable.”

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale

But the calls were rebuffed by Tony Lloyd, Manchester’s elected Police and Crime Commissioner, who said that despite the “serious allegations”, the investigation was in its early stages.

“Nothing has been placed before me at this time by the IPCC which would make me consider the position of the Chief Constable.

“I have asked the IPCC to update me regularly on the progress of the investigation and I will keep this decision under review.

“I understand that this investigation will cause uncertainty and will be of concern to the people of Greater Manchester.”

A Detective Superintendent and a Detective Chief Inspector, whose names have not been released were also served with criminal and gross misconduct notices for their roles in the same investigation.

Terry Sweeney, GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable, has been served with a gross misconduct notice for his oversight role in the disposal of body parts belonging to victims of the serial killer Dr Harold Shipman.

An investigation has been launched into whether police officers misled families over the disposal of human remains from victims of Harold Shipman

The separate cases emerged in the same cache of documents from the whistleblower, who the IPCC said made a number of allegations including cronyism among senior officers, failure to follow correct procedures, failure to investigate complaints properly and corruption.

The IPCC announced the probe into the allegations in March, saying there would be three separate investigations.

One is examining claims that police misled families and the public when disposing of human tissue from Dr Shipman’s victims.

Remains from 12 of the GP's victims were kept for more than a decade by GMP before they were allegedly secretly destroyed in 2011 without the families' permission.

The remains reportedly belonged to Kathleen Grundy, Joan Melia, Winifred Mellor, Bianka Pomfret, Ivy Lomas, Marie Quinn, Irene Turner, Jean Lilley, Muriel Grimshaw, Alice Kitchen, Elizabeth Mellor and Sally Ashworth.

Sir Peter said: "As a Chief Constable, you face making complex decisions on a daily basis about many high-risk and challenging situations.

"It is right that this decision-making is scrutinised and that I am held to account as part of this investigation."