Greater Manchester Police Chief found dead

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Michael Todd
Image: Greater Manchester Police.

Michael Todd, chief of Greater Manchester Police, has been found dead in North Wales. It has been reported that he was found at the bottom of a cliff with letters found nearby, either on his body or in his car, which were addressed to family and friends, although this has not been confirmed.

The discovery comes after an extensive search by mountain rescue teams, following Todd's unexpected absence. According to GMP, the chief Constable had been on a walking trip, which was not uncommon, however when he failed to return the alarm was raised.

Sources in GMP have said that it was possible the 51 year old had committed suicide, with recent behaviour, including phone calls to close colleagues and friends, having been noticed, however the cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Current Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was quoted as saying Todd had "contributed greatly to the fight against crime and terrorism". A profile on the BBC news site also mentions Todd had called for close co-operation between MI5 and a dedicated counter terrorism unit established in Greater Manchester.

The deputy police chief has commented on the death saying "I and all the officers of Greater Manchester Police and all the members of Greater Manchester Police Authority are absolutely shocked by what's happened and what has taken place in the last 16 hours."

The full text of the Deputy Police Chief's statement can be found below:

Yesterday our Chief Constable Michael Todd was off duty walking in Snowdonia. Last night we became concerned for his welfare and as a result searches started to find him.

These searches have continued today and unfortunately this afternoon a body has been found. I believe that it is Michael but we have not been able to formal identify him at this time.

The weather conditions are extremely bad at the moment and are hindering our inquiries. There will be a coroner’s investigation which means I can’t say anymore at this time.

As you can imagine all of his friends and colleagues are extremely upset. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, and I would ask that they be left in peace to come to terms with this tragic shock.”