Who pays the legal costs?

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Following publication of a report by Professor John Drew that the South Yorkshire Police force response to the child abuse in Rotherham was “inadequate”, Chief Constable David Crompton announced he would retire in November 2016 after four years in the post and 31 years in policing.

I believe that he will be retiring with a generous pension/settlement package, in spite of him leaving under a cloud of criticism from this report and also the findings of the Hillsborough inquests hearing.

It is reported on the June 14 Teletext news, that the BBC has discovered that South Yorkshire Police spent at least £2.1 million on legal fees representing its suspended chief constable during the Hillsborough inquests. Mr Crompton’s barrister was paid more than £1m to represent him.

The report states that several victims’ families complained to the police watchdog about Mr Crompton’s conduct during the inquests. They claim the chief constable “instructed his legal team to pour blame on to Liverpool fans”.

The inquest exonerated the fans, and actions of some South Yorkshire Police force officers were strongly criticised.

Doctor Alan Billings was recently re-elected as Police Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire. He has proved himself to be very capable and has fulfilled his initial election pledge to represent the public interest and to deal with any shortcomings which may arise in the force.

With that pledge in mind, I am sure the Sheffield rate-paying citizens, among many others, would appreciate some explanation from South Yorkshire Police force or our Police and Crime Commissioner to warrant expenditure of these exorbitant legal fees, in defence of a public employee found to be severely wanting in performance.

Does Mr Crompton pay towards his legal costs or does the money come from the public purse?

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5