As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble orig­i­nally faced dis­missal but will now be al­lowed to re­tire

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jeanette Old­ham In­ves­ti­ga­tions Edi­tor

ATOP anti-ter­ror of­fi­cer fac­ing the sack after a thief stole con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments is be­ing al­lowed to re­tire by West Mid­lands Po­lice – po­ten­tially pro­tect­ing a threat­ened pen­sion wind­fall.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Mar­cus Beale, 54, had ad­mit­ted breach­ing the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act by leav­ing the clas­si­fied files in his force ve­hi­cle for five days, dur­ing which time crooks struck.

In Fe­bru­ary, the former head of West Mid­lands Po­lice’s Counter Ter­ror­ism Unit was also found guilty of gross mis­con­duct at a force dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

Mr Beale had been ex­pected to be dis­missed at a re­cent hear­ing in front of Chief Con­sta­ble Dave Thomp­son, which would have re­port­edly seen him lose a taxfree £215,000 pen­sion lump sum.

But the meet­ing was post­poned just hours be­fore it was due to go ahead for a ju­di­cial re­view and has now been resched­uled for April 18.

How­ever, the Birm­ing­ham Post un­der­stands that Mr Beale had com­pleted 30 years’ ser­vice on Mon­day April 2.

West Mid­lands Po­lice had ini­tially said it was ‘con­sid­er­ing’ a re­tire­ment re­quest from Mr Beale. “We can con­firm that ACC Mar­cus Beale has in­di­cated his in­ten­tion to re­tire after 30 years’ ser­vice,” a state­ment read. “That re­quest is be­ing looked at by the force and will be con­sid­ered in due course.” But last Fri­day, the force is­sued a new state­ment, which said: “Mar­cus Beale’s re­tire­ment ap­pli­ca­tion has now been pro­cessed by the force and we can con­firm that he will re­tire on April 28. “A fur­ther spe­cial case hear­ing is sched­uled to take place on Wed­nes­day April 18 be­fore Chief Con­sta­ble Dave Thomp­son.” It is un­der­stood that all op­tions will re­main on the ta­ble at the spe­cial case hear­ing in front of Mr Thomp­son, who will make any fi­nal de­ci­sion about Mr Beale’s pen­sion. The anti-ter­ror cop had been handed the highly clas­si­fied doc­u­ments on May 10 last year. He placed them in a metal suit­case and locked them in the boot of his car.

But the force ve­hi­cle was later left unat­tended out­side a pub, a su­per­mar­ket and at a train sta­tion while the of­fi­cer and his wife vis­ited Lon­don.

It was only after five days that Mr Beale dis­cov­ered the se­cret pa­pers had been stolen, a theft first revealed by the Birm­ing­ham Post and which came after ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Lon­don and Manch­ester.

It is un­der­stood the former high-fly­ing of­fi­cer was always due to re­tire on April 2 after serv­ing 30 years with the force.

But the de­lay in con­clud­ing his dis­ci­plinary hear­ing may have en­sured that while his ca­reer has ended in con­tro­versy, his fi­nan­cial fu­ture is se­cure.

Mr Beale was un­avail­able for com­ment but at his dis­ci­plinary hear­ing his lawyer, John Beggs QC, said this was an “iso­lated” in­ci­dent in an oth­er­wise un­blem­ished ca­reer.

“He is a po­lice of­fi­cer of out­stand­ing cal­i­bre,” he said.

“Why did he make such a mis­take? He does work in pun­ish­ing cir­cum­stances working long hours.

“Even the very finest hu­mans make mis­takes.

“In his role as leader of the West Mid­lands Counter Ter­ror­ist Unit he has saved many lives both re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally.

“If one of the finest po­lice of­fi­cers in the coun­try was dis­missed for this it would be a very sad case.”

He does work in pun­ish­ing cir­cum­stances working long hours. Even the very finest hu­mans make mis­takes

> As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Mar­cus Beale, 54, ad­mit­ted breach­ing the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act

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