A senior West Midlands Police officer and anti-terror boss who was convicted of failing to safeguard confidential documents has today been dismissed from the force.
Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale was previously fined after admitting an offence under the Official Secrets Act at Westminster Magistrates Court.
A subsequent special case hearing before an independent panel today (Wednesday 18 April) at Lloyd House found ACC Beale guilty of gross misconduct and recommended his dismissal without notice.
He was sacked by chief constable Dave Thompson at a hearing today only days before he was set to retire.
Mr Beale – who was previously the force’s head of counter-terrorism – was suspended after being summonsed for the offence under the Official Secrets Act last November.
Mr Thompson said: “The conduct in this case is a serious criminal conviction for improperly caring for documents of the highest sensitivity. There was a very real risk of harm.
“The officer is a senior officer well versed in security policing who should have known better. I believe the public, particularly in such fraught times would not approve of this behaviour or actions.
“I do not avoid recognition for his great work, he has been outstanding and the grief of these events has been widely felt in policing.
“I do not question the very high regard he is held in policing and beyond. Indeed as someone who has worked closely with him I can confirm the huge contribution he has made to policing, national security and this force. He has delivered much for West Midlands Police even after these events.
“It is deeply painful to look at what he has achieved and where he is now. Nothing can take away what has been a very impressive police career that has unquestionably left policing and this force in a better position than it was before his arrival and has protected the public. We are in debt to him for this.
“However personal mitigation has to be weighed against the broader interests of this profession.
“It is with huge personal regret I have determined ACC Beale will be dismissed without notice.”