Norfolk police to lose senior officer

Norfolk police's second in command has retired on ill-heath grounds after spending months on sick leave, the force is announcing today. Deputy chief constable Simon Taylor's departure comes after he was initially signed off work in July.

Norfolk police's second in command has retired on ill-heath grounds after spending months on sick leave, the force is announcing today.

Deputy chief constable Simon Taylor's departure comes after he was initially signed off work in July. Adverts for his replacement will be placed in police publications today. The advert calls for a "high calibre" replacement and offers a salary of more than £100,000.

Norfolk Police Authority did not comment on the exact nature of Mr Taylor's illness, simply saying that, following a review by an independent doctor, the "prognosis is such that he won't be fit to return to policing duties at that level on a permanent basis".

However, the EDP understands Mr Taylor was suffering from a stress-related condition.

Mr Taylor said: "I shall always remember with affection the friendships and collaborative relationships developed in my time here. From the outset, on moving up from the West Country, we were made to feel very welcome.

"I have had the privilege of being involved in many interesting developments as the constabulary sought to be creative in meeting people's policing aspirations and needs. In the short term I am looking forward very much to exploring more of this delightful county and having more time for my art."

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Stephen Bett, police authority chairman, paid tribute to Mr Taylor.

"He is a man of integrity with high personal and professional standards and it is most regrettable that he should end his service in a state of ill-health," said Mr Bett.

Chief constable Ian McPherson said: "Simon Taylor has been a dedicated and loyal servant to Norfolk Constabulary and therefore the communities we serve."

Mr Taylor - along with other senior officers including former chief Carole Howlett - is currently subject to an investigation over allegations relating to conduct and management of staff.

The investigation began after two officers, Sgt Christina Arthurton and Insp Neil Ferguson, took the force to employment tribunals alleging bullying and discrimination.

Lincolnshire police, which is overseeing the investigation as an independent body, was due to report back next month. However, this has been delayed until July due to officer commitments to criminal inquiries.