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South Wales Argus

Gwent’s chief constable, Carmel Napier told by PCC, Ian Johnston to ‘retire or be removed’

ULTIMATUM: Documents seen by the South Wales Argus show Gwent’s chief constable, Carmel Napier was told by PCC, Ian Johnston to ‘retire or be removed’

ULTIMATUM: Documents seen by the South Wales Argus show Gwent’s chief constable, Carmel Napier was told by PCC, Ian Johnston to ‘retire or be removed’

South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author

Exclusive by Natalie Crockett - Crime reporter

Published / News
63 comments

UPDATE: 3.59pm

GWENT PCC Ian Johnston this afternoon said he "very much regretted" that the contents of his memorandum had been leaked to the South Wales Argus.

He said: "I can absolutely assure the people of Gwent that neither myself, or my office, had any part in passing this confidential information to a third party. However, now the information is in the public domain, I want to be honest with people about my concerns.

“On 23rd May 2013, during our meeting, I raised my concerns about a number of issues. These were outlined in a memorandum. Subsequently Mrs Napier took the decision to retire, which I accepted. Had Mrs Napier not made the decision to retire, I intended to take the matter further, which may have resulted in her being asked to leave the force.

“I will be moving to appoint a new Chief Constable as soon as practicable to provide stability and leadership for the force. In the meantime I will work with the temporary Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, to provide a police service for Gwent which is excellent in every way.”

UPDATE: 12.27pm

GWENT PCC Ian Johnston, said Carmel Napier had shown a “total lack of acceptance of the role and statutory responsibilities of the PCC”.

Speaking to the Argus the commissioner claimed the chief constable had given a “verbal order that no one was to have any contact with the police and crime commissioner.”

He said this happened “within the first week of me arriving”.

“I challenged her on it.” he said. “She said they must have misunderstood what I said.”

“I had people approaching me saying I can't speak to you”.

“They didn't misunderstand [that] they were threatened with disciplinary action.”

 


GWENT’s chief constable was told to retire or be removed from her job, the Argus can reveal.

In documents seen by the Argus, Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston told Carmel Napier he had “grave concerns” about her "performance and behaviour as Chief Constable”.

In a meeting between the two on May 23, Mr Johnston told Mrs Napier he wanted her to retire within a month.

According to notes of the meeting, Mr Johnston told Mrs Napier he was giving her “the opportunity to retire of your own volition”. If she did not agree to do so by 9.30am on June 3, Mrs Napier was told by Mr Johnston: “I will start the process of removing you”.

According to the notes of the meeting, which are signed by Mr Johnston and his chief executive Shelley Bosson, Mr Johnston told Mrs Napier that his concerns fell under four headings.

He told the Chief Constable: “In my judgement you have lost the confidence of the public of Gwent and of your officers and staff.

“I find your managerial style to be unacceptably dismissive, abrupt and unhelpful.

“You have failed appropriately to manage external and internal relations.

“You are deeply hostile to the very concept of the office of PCC.”

According to the documents we have seen, Mr Johnston told Mrs Napier: “My intention is not to humiliate or upset you but we need to be clear I do want you to retire in the next month.” He said he would “prefer us to agree a harmonious parting of the ways”.

Mr Johnston told Mrs Napier at the meeting that “it would be much better if you accepted my wish as the democratically elected PCC”.

The Argus revealed exclusively last Wednesday that Mrs Napier was retiring with immediate effect. This was confirmed officially by Gwent Police last Friday.

There has been much speculation and comment from Gwent MPs, in particular, over the reasons for Mrs Napier’s decisions.

Mr Johnston and Mrs Napier engaged in a public war of words over crime figures last month after the PCC suggested in an interview with the Argus that some statistics were being incorrectly recorded.

Mrs Napier, in response, said such comments could damage morale among rank and file officers.

Responding to the Argus' request for a comment on the meeting, Mr Johnston, said: "Since my election I had a number of conversations and meetings with Mrs Napier regarding the future direction of the Force and her role in implementing this.

"On 23 May we had a conversation which was the final one of many during the last few months. Following this meeting Mrs Napier took the decision to retire, which I accepted.”

Mrs Napier declined to comment yesterday.

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