Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy is facing a police watchdog probe into an allegedly poorly-handled investigation into a suspected sex offender.
A whistleblower has pointed the finger at the police chief as well as three other serving officers in three separate investigations where GMP staff have been accused of ‘breaching their standards of professional behaviour’.
One Detective Superintendent and a Detective Chief Inspector were served with criminal and gross misconduct notices for their roles in the investigation.
A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and three other serving officers at the force have been issued with notices advising them that they are under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“The notices informed the officers that their conduct or actions may have breached their standards of professional behaviour.
“Three of the four have been told that they are also under criminal investigation.”
Sir Peter Fahy has released a brief statement following the announcement.
He 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.”
A retired officer will also be served with a criminal and gross misconduct notice over his part in the probe.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have also served Fahy’s deputy Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney with a gross misconduct notice for his oversight role in the disposal of body parts belonging to victims of the serial killer Harold Shipman.
IPCC investigators have obtained a volume of GMP documents relating to all three investigations, and interviewed the whistleblower.
They have also set up a major incident room and are keeping relatives of the victims of Dr Shipman informed of progress.
In relation into the investigation into Shipman, the IPCC said: “Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney 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 Harold Shipman.”
Shipman was found guilty of 15 murders in January 2000 and was found hanged in Wakefield prison four years later, just one day short of his 58th birthday.
It is believed the shamed doctor could have been responsible for up to 250 deaths, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in history and still the only serving doctor convicted of murdering his patients.