Former Southport inspector in new ‘bother’


Sue Sim, pictured, intervened after a friend and fellow officer who was alleged to be ‘drunk and disorderly

• Sue Sim was on a night out with a fellow female officer in Edinburgh 

• Ms Sim’s friend was alleged to have been ‘drunk and disorderly’ by police

• Her friend was questioned by British Transport Police at Waverley station

• Ms Sim’s friend received a verbal warning and was allowed to ‘sleep it off’


A former Chief Constable is at the centre of an extraordinary row with her old police force after a night on the town with a female officer who was accused of being drunk and disorderly.

Sue Sim was enjoying an evening in Edinburgh with the serving Northumbria Police officer when her friend had too much to drink and was questioned by British Transport Police at a railway station.

The mid-ranking serving officer, who has not been named, was given a verbal warning but was allowed to go home to sleep it off after Mrs Sim intervened.

Last night, Mrs Sim, best known for leading the hunt for gunman Raoul Moat, told of her fury after discovering that a top-level disciplinary inquiry had been launched into what she believes was a minor indiscretion. She believes it is the force’s way of getting back at her after her career ended amid toxic allegations of bullying and sexism.

‘I feel terribly sorry for the officer involved because I believe that had that officer not been with me at the time, it would not have been the same position,’ she said.

The former Chief Constable’s relationship with her old force has been strained since she was accused earlier this year of bullying male colleagues by giving them Alex Ferguson-style ‘hairdryer treatments’. She was cleared of misconduct but chose to retire to spend more time with her family. She later accused male officers of treating her differently because she is a woman – but says her complaint has been dismissed by Northumbria Police.

The Mail on Sunday revealed that she is now demanding three policing watchdogs investigate her sexism claims. Mrs Sim said: ‘My gender has been an issue in relation to the complaints against me but the Chief Constable is refusing to look at those. Yet he has an external force inquiry for a matter of simple drunkenness.

‘I’ve put in my statement that I thought it was appalling that it was being considered as gross misconduct and I believed that that was because the officer happened to be present with me.’

Mrs Sim, 53, retired from Northumbria on June 3 after a 30-year career in policing. A few weeks later on June 30, the married mother of two was enjoying the night out in Edinburgh city centre with the woman from her old force.


The serving officer had been drinking, but her condition is said to have been made worse by her being on antibiotics. She was questioned by British Transport Police on the concourse of Waverley railway station after an officer standing by a pasty shop spotted the woman looked ‘intoxicated’, and she was eventually handed a verbal warning.

Mrs Sim was not arrested and insists that she remained sober as the BTP officer let her look after her friend.

But she was shocked to discover later that the Northumbria officer has since had gross misconduct proceedings started against her, which could result in her dismissal.

The case is being taken so seriously that it is being handled by an external force, Cumbria, although the officer has not been suspended.

Mrs Sim has now submitted a statement to the disciplinary case and may speak out against Northumbria Police in person if it reaches a public hearing. It is thought that investigators asked for CCTV of the railway station incident.

By contrast, Mrs Sim has failed to get her successor Steve Ashman to launch any sort of investigation into the officers who made the unproven bullying allegations against her.

She claims the force has rejected her complaints, so she has written to Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, asking them to intervene.

A spokesman for Northumbria said: ‘We can confirm that a serving Northumbria Police officer is subject to an ongoing misconduct inquiry arising from an incident at Waverley station.’

The force declined to comment on Mrs Sim’s claims.

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