Tuesday 27th February 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Missing Chiefs cost £23,356.42 per month

Missing Chiefs cost £23,356.42 per month

by TIM HICKS

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Introduction

In my article Who is the Chief? Where is Mabs? I revealed exclusively that according to the North Yorkshire Police (NYP) Website Chief Officers

  1. NYP now has two Chief Constables (CC) Lisa Winward and Acting CC Elliot Foskett.
  2. Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Mabs Hussain MBE has disappeared and has been temporarily replaced as North Yorkshire’s DCC by Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Scott Bisset.

Chief Constable Winward was only due to retire on 31st March 2024 (salary: £154,727). DCC Hussain (salary: £125,550) only took up the role of DCC in January 2022 and has gone – after less than a year.

The Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire is Mrs Zoë Metcalfe. She is supposed to hold NYP to account and to keep the public informed of policing issues. Although the public should be informed of these changes, no official announcement or explanation has been made either by either Chief Constable, or by Commissioner Metcalfe. In short, they have tried to deliberately withhold information from the public that they are entitled to know.

This article exposes the reasons for this secrecy.

The Salary Cost

CC Winward stopped submitting expenses after the 26th of October 2023 and DCC Hussain stopped after the 12th of November 2023, implying that they both stopped working on or about those dates.

If this is so, then the taxpayer has been paying their salaries for them to sit at home doing nothing since that date. This amounts to a cost to the public of £64,469.60 for CC Winward from the end of October to her retirement on the 31st of March 2024 and £10,462.50 per month for DCC Hussain.

The Impact on Policing in North Yorkshire and Public Safety

The roles of CC and DCC are critical to public safety. So each police force in the UK is required to have a CC and DCC of suitable experience, normally many years of service as an ACC, who has passed the College of Policing Senior Command Course and completed appropriate training.

  • The acting Chief Constable (ACC Foskett) has only been an ACC since March 2022.
  • The Temporary DCC (ACC Bisset) was only appointed as an ACC in 2020.

For promotion to ACC, an officer would normally require many years of experience as a Chief Superintendent. Two officers have been appointed as Temporary ACCs (T/ACC) to cover for ACC Bisset and ACC Foskett. They are:

  • T/ACC Catherine Clarke, a Superintendent until 2022
  • T/ACC Wayne Fox a Detective Superintendent until at least April 2023.

Neither officer would normally be promoted to ACC (salary: £121,122).

Worse, none of the longer serving Chief Superintendents in NYP were thought sufficiently capable to be promoted to ACC.

Stonewalling by Acting CC Foskett, Police Fire & Crime Commissioner Metcalfe and the North Yorkshire Police, Fire & Crime Panel (NYPFCP)

The NYPFCP is supposed to scrutinise Commissioner Metcalfe’s performance.

Acting CC Foskett, Commissioner Metcalfe and the NYPFCP were all asked for a media comment. Acting CC Foskett did not respond – in accordance with NYP’s policy of proscribing the NYE.

Commissioner Metcalfe responded that NYP is a separate organisation and I should make enquiries with NYP.

The NYPFCP did respond:

“The majority of the queries you raise do not fall within the remit of the panel and you need to approach North Yorkshire Police for those replies.

However, we can clarify:

    • The start date of Deputy Chief Constable Tim Forber is a matter for the commissioner’s office to respond to and the panel has no legal role in determining this.
    • The panel does not have a legal role in appointing police officers other than confirming the appointment to the role of Chief Constable”.

The NYPFCP has conveniently ignored the fact that neither Acting CC Foskett nor Commissioner Metcalfe will comment. Nor is the Panel concerned that although Commissioner Metcalfe has a duty to respond to at least part of my enquiry, she is evading this duty by falsely claiming it is not her job to.

Summary

In summary:

  1. The substantive Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable are on gardening leave, suspended from duty, ill, prematurely retired or otherwise rendered ineffective, but still receiving their full salaries at a cost to the taxpayer of £23,356.42 per month.
  2. NYP is now the only force in the country and probably in the history of UK policing where every chief officer is not substantive and not properly trained or experienced for the role.
  3. All the officials responsible for exercising oversight over the police will take responsibility for anything and are using a policy of proscribing the NYE or stonewalling it, to pass the buck and any evade responsibility.
  4. Commissioner Metcalfe gets £74,400 to keep the public informed of policing issues. Last year, the NYPFCP cost the good taxpayers of North Yorkshire £65,260. Yet the public have been deliberately kept in the dark about these issues.

This situation can only be described as an inexcusable shambles and a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money. Hence the reason there has been a cover up by Commissioner Metcalfe to keep this from the public.

Only the NYE is exercising oversight over NYP and releasing information the public is entitled to know. This demonstrates the importance of a free press holding public bodies to account – hence no doubt the reason the NYE has been proscribed.

NYP, Commissioner Metcalfe and the NYPFCP were asked for a comment.

Right of Reply

If you are mentioned in this article and do not agree with the views expressed in it, or wish to correct any factual inaccuracy, please let me know using the letters@nyenquirer.uk email address and your views and/or a correction will be published if appropriate.

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