Chief constable asked to explain collapse of misconduct case against shamed former senior officer

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has been asked to explain the collapse of misconduct proceedings involving a senior officer accused of misleading a public inquiry into the shooting of an unarmed man.

Deputy mayor Baroness Beverley Hughes has expressed concerns to Ian Hopkins after gross misconduct charges were dropped against former Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood at a hearing in June.

Mr Heywood was involved in a police operation in 2012 which resulted in the fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger, which prompted the inquiry and an separate investigation by the police watchdog.

Ms Hughes is now awaiting a ‘detailed report’ from Mr Hopkins regarding the hearing – which has been described as a ‘real public confidence issue’ for GMP – before ‘considering the matter further’.

It remains unclear if the report will be made publicly available to the region’s police and crime panel.

Mr Grainger, 36, was shot through the chest by a police marksman in the village of Culceth, near Warrington, after GMP suspected he was about to rob a supermarket with two accomplices.

His death led to a public inquiry, which detailed Mr Heywood’s role in the lead up to the operation.

Mr Heywood apologised to the inquiry in 2017 after admitting he added extra details to his incident log that he could not not have known at the time to justify the armed swoop.

A subsequent investigation of Mr Heywood’s conduct by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that he may have committed a criminal offence, but no formal charges were made due to a lack of evidence.

The officer then faced a gross misconduct hearing for allegedly breaching GMP’s standards of honesty and integrity.

The allegations were dropped by GMP after no evidence could be produced against Mr Heywood, with the force unable to access ‘redacted material’ that had been given in evidence in a closed session of the public inquiry.

GMP apologised to the hearing panel and Mr Grainger’s family after being heavily criticised for ‘delays and procedural errors’.

The handling of the matter was raised on Tuesday at the first meeting of the regional police and crime panel since the case dropped.

Ms Hughes, who oversees policing for the Greater Manchester combined authority, was asked if Mr Hopkins’ report would be shared with panel members.

She said: “I’m expecting a report from the chief constable in relation to Mr Heywood and I’ll consider that when I get it.

“I need to see that report before I can comment further on that. It’s very sensitive.”

A GMP spokesman told the LDRS: “We are not aware of a time frame on the completion of this report and would ask that you get back in touch once this report has been completed.”


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