It’s Northern Ireland for Cheshire’s ex-police chief

Cheshire’s former chief constable has landed the role of heading up the police force in Northern Ireland.

Simon Byrne, who was cleared of bullying last year, has been appointed the new chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Mr Byrne, who has more than three decades of experience, was cleared of 74 allegations of misconduct last December.

He was accused of bullying and humiliating staff over a three-year period. But a panel said the misconduct case, which cost £350,000 in public funds, “could and should have been avoided”.

Mr Byrne was selected for his new role by a panel of seven Northern Ireland Policing Board members. Ann Connolly, the chair of the Policing Board, said Mr Byrne had told the board he had been the subject of “unfounded allegations”.

She said: “He has been totally exonerated and the last time I looked that meant the person was innocent, so the board had absolutely no problem in appointing him. Mr Byrne brings a wealth of strategic and operational experience to the post. He has had 36 years of experience, the last 12 years at chief officer level.”

Mr Byrne began his career as a Met constable in 1982 and became an assistant chief constable at Merseyside in 2006.

He was deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2009 to 2011 and assistant commissioner for territorial policing in the Metropolitan Police from 2011 to 2014, before becoming chief of Cheshire Police.

Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation, said: “He has considerable operational experience and I wish him well in this new and very demanding role.”

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