Page last updated Wednesday 31st July at 1205hrs
Graham Moore (pictured top centre) is a police officer who has been on uPSD’s radar since shortly after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report. It is now the right time to shine a light on some of the misconduct/criminality that he has been a party to over a long number of years.
First and foremost on Moore’s tariff is his specific role in the determination of whether South Yorkshire Police officers involved in the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 should face disciplinary action. At the time he was Assistant Chief Constable with specific portfolio responsibility for Complaints & Discipline, now more commonly known as Professional Standards. Moore made the extraordinary decision that such as Chief Supt David Duckenfield and Supt Bernard Murray should face no internal gross misconduct proceedings and both those officers – held principally accountable by the Hillsborough families and survivors – were allowed to ride off into gold-plated pensioned retirement. He also managed to scrub round the widely known circumstances of fellow ACC Walter Jackson, whose complete abdication of responsibility included cowering under the table in the police control box on the fateful afternoon.
Moore would have also been very well aware of the Force-wide smearing of the fans and cover-up of responsibility for the loss of 96 lives, plus the injury and mental scarring of very many others. His high office at the time is an aggravating factor and should be taken fully into account when history determines the sanction that he should face.
Similarly, because of his roles and responsibilities at the time it is inconceivable that Moore did not know about the clumsy attempt by South Yorkshire Police to illegally frame 95 miners in the aftermath of the brutal Orgreave miners strike confrontation.
Nine years after Hillsborough and with the lid of South Yorkshire Police cover-up still loosely fitting after the scandalous 1997 Justice Stuart-Smith Scrutiny had, once again, thwarted justice for the 96, Moore made the short journey from SYP HQ to Wakefield where he took up post as Chief Constable at West Yorkshire Police. This was also a Force with deep troubles, with many of its senior detectives and ACPO officers discredited in a series of exposures of miscarriages of justice such as the cases of Judith Ward, Stefan Kisko and Anthony Steel. There was also the ever-present spectre of the appallingly inept Yorkshire Ripper investigation that had concluded a decade earlier and the Bradford race riots of 1995 that were widely blamed on insensitive and over-aggressive policing by his new Force.
Another notorious figure lurking in West Yorkshire Police ACPO ranks at the time of Moore’s appointment was none other than his ex-SYP colleague, Norman Bettison who had made the same journey up from Sheffield 4 years earlier.
Almost one of the first acts under Moore of the man set to become Britain’s most notorious policeman was to produce a report that sought to discredit one of the key race relations workers in Yorkshire. Mohammed Amran (pictured top left) was honoured for his work during the Bradford riots and was set to become a key witness at the Macpherson inquiry in Oct 1998. Mr Amran was at the time the youngest ever Commissioner for Racial Equality: Bettison’s response to all that was to produce a secret report which he submitted to the Inquiry. That report severely discredited Mr Amran and undermined his testimony at the Inquiry which had severely criticised West Yorkshire Police. Given what we know about the modus operandi from Hillsborough and Orgreave it is inconceivable that the two ex South Yorkshire Police officers were not both aware of the “Black Ops” campaign against Mr Amran. Particularly, as it was later revealed that a number of junior West Yorkshire Police officers have now also been referred to the IPCC for investigation over the same incident. It just all has too much of a familiar ring to it, particularly with the knowledge that one Norman Bettison was Gold Commander throughout the stormy days and nights of the Bradford riots.
The West Yorkshire Police campaign against Mr Amran was not confined to the Macpherson Inquiry. He was arrested many times as his reputation as a race campaigner grew and won a racial discrimination case in the civil courts against WYP when they produced another damaging report to the Commission for Racial Equality.
Also, shortly after Moore’s arrival an injured and traumatised 37 year old ex-paratrooper was left to die on the floor of a police station in Kingston-upon-Hull. When Humberside Police were required to call in an outside Force to investigate the death of Christopher Alder they, according to a later IPCC report, “called in a favour” from West Yorkshire Police. That favour, presumably sanctioned by Moore, was to send the hopelessly incompetent and corrupt John Holt to do Humberside’s bidding. True to script the Hull boys ran rings round Superintendent Holt and his failings were instrumental in the denial of justice to the Alder family. Holt, for his further part, had a central role in the nationally known Operation Douglas scandal, the cover-up of which was well under way under Moore’s leadership and control. It was a corruption scandal that was to shock the nation when it finally unravelled under a Supreme Court judgement in 2011.
Moore’s own appointment as Chief Constable is mired in controversy as there are allegations that his medical records were altered at the time of his West Yorkshire Police Authority interviews and, it is understood from well-placed sources, that he was not a popular appointment across the Force. His style was one adopted by Bettison when he returned himself as Chief in 2006. If you were in the favoured crowd everything was rosy. If you were “outside the circle” or failed to toe the party (or Lodge) line then you were quickly disenfranchised. In that context it is interesting to look at Moore’s close social circle which included Derek Bonnard, recently sacked as Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland; Adam Briggs who left North Yorkshire Police in disgrace two years ago. One of Moore’s first recruits as a Chief Superintendent was Stuart Hyde who has been suspended as Temporary Chief Constable of Cumbria since September last year. And, of course, it was Moore’s referee recommendation of Bettison as “an outstanding officer” that would have contributed significantly to Bettison’s controversial appointment as Chief Constable of Merseyside. The other Bettison referee, long standing Leeds City Councillor Neil Taggart (pictured top right), has publicly stated that there were four medical examinations on Moore prior to his appointment but has declined to elaborate further on that.
Moore’s concept of an “outstanding officer” plainly differs from that of the rest of society and it is now up to the authorities/regulators to seek explanations from him concerning the darker aspects of his tenure at West Yorkshire Police.